Plastic Not So Fantastic!

"We now know that plastic pollution is everywhere so it is important to try and get people engaged - because it's not just one person's problem, this is everyone's problem."

Dr Claire Gwinnett, Associate Professor and Plastic Pollution and Forensic Fibre Research Group Lead

Staffordshire University is inviting the public to find out how they can help the fight against plastic pollution.

Dr Claire Gwinnett, Associate Professor and Plastic Pollution and Forensic Fibre Research Group Lead, will deliver a free public lecture 'Plastic Not So Fantastic' on Tuesday 5 June to mark World Environment Day.

Dr Gwinnett specialises in microfibre analysis and was part of the research team which discovered the first evidence of deep-sea animals ingesting microplastics. She has also received a prestigious scholarship to continue her research into plastic pollution in USA and Australasia this summer.

She explained: “Plastic pollution is a topical subject and is incredibly important because it is effecting the entire planet. We now know that plastic pollution is everywhere so it is important to try and get people engaged - because it's not just one person's problem, this is everyone's problem.”

The lecture will provide visitors with advice on how they can help protect the environment and outline ground-breaking work being conducted at Staffordshire University in adapting forensic science techniques for plastic pollution analysis.

Dr Gwinnett said: “The talk is for anybody who is interested in conservation and our impact on the planet. Young or old, we can all make a difference and this is great way to find out how.”

The Forensic Science team have also invited local primary schoolchildren to take to part in a range of educational activities on campus before the lecture. This includes creating a display of sea creatures from disposable plastic items which have been collected by staff during a plastics amnesty across the University.

The finished creations will then be exhibited at the public lecture and go on to be displayed at Alton Towers’ Sharkbait Reef by Sealife Aquarium.

Dr Gwinnet added: “These activities provide the schools with an insight into what is actually going into the oceans and how it impacts marine life and animals. Hopefully encouraging the children to think about why we shouldn’t use single use plastics will influence their behaviour in the future.”

'Plastic Not So Fantastic' takes place on Tuesday 5 June at 4pm. To book your free place please contact comms@staffs.ac.uk or 01782 295860.

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