Action Ocean Plastic Waste

Action Ocean Plastic Waste

NTNU Oceans and NTNU Sustainability have launched a new joint initiative – Action Ocean Plastic Waste – for students and researchers who are interested in fighting plastic pollution in our Oceans.

Plastic waste has reached all the world's oceans, fueled by approximately 8 million additional pieces of plastic pollution finding their way into the seven seas every single day. Macroplastics, such as shopping bags, can easily cause starvation by clogging the digestive tracts of animals and birds. Microplastics harm smaller marine life and are passed up the food chain, while, nanoplastics can penetrate barriers in the digestive tract and possibly migrate into muscle and brain tissue. Such particles have been found in remote areas of the world, including in snow falling in the Arctic.

Exactly how these particles will affect our oceans is a question that needs further research. Still, reducing the flow of plastic into the oceans – as well as retrieving some of the plastics already there – seem like sensible actions to undertake. But how should we begin such a monumental task? Who should lead? Where should the clean-up begin? What are the alternatives to plastic? And who will pay for the effort? There is no end to the numerous questions that this challenging topic presents.

Action Ocean Plastic Waste builds on the work done in this area of plastic research at NTNU. The program aims to further facilitate cross-disciplinary projects, promoting the launching of research and innovation activities that would include students with the collaboration of researchers and other NTNU staff, in an effort to fight plastic pollution in our Oceans.

For questions regarding this initiative, please contact:

karl.klingsheim@ntnu.no & mariaazucena.gutierrez@ntnu.no

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One of the projects already established by the AOPW initiative, Interns for Sustainability project, will run in the period 2020-2022 and it is co-funded by Handelens Miljøfond.

The project motivates already established students and researchers at NTNU to choose topics related to Ocean Plastic Waste for pre-thesis and thesis project work, offering selected projects some additional funds as well as the opportunity to join some of the other project activities like: 1) SANO Excursions – Norway/ South Africa meetings for participants and 2) A series of Web-Seminars on the topic and other learning experiences.

By generating new knowledge and public awareness across borders, the program seeks to promote innovative and cross-disciplinary solutions to the plastic dilemma.

By motivating and equipping future leaders to effectively deal with plastic pollution and explore business opportunities in waste management, Interns for Sustainability aims to provide significant and sustainable reductions in plastic waste and marine pollution.

You can read more about the project and apply here.

Interested in doing your thesis on a related topic?

You can work with your supervisor and join the AOPW network for more support, resources and possible outreach based on your work. Please contact us to learn more.

Coming in 2021, Experts in Teams Villages related to ocean plastic waste in Trondheim and Ålesund. More information to follow in fall 2020.

More about Experts in Teams are found here.

To engage our research community and citizens, we will conduct a series of virtual events starting in fall 2020. From Ocean Clean Up Day to thought provoking webinars, we will be aiming to raise awareness of the issue and the research produced both at NTNU and partner institutions.