Register here by Monday, 16th October: https://goo.gl/forms/Ij8jn8IKZvvnlH953
Please note that a maximum of 70 participants may register for this event.
Talk 1: “Plastics in our environment” by Professor Suresh Valiyaveettil, Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore
Synopsis: Plastics are used in many applications owing to their versatility, low cost and durability. Common plastics are polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and a range of polyesters (e.g. PET). Such plastics are present in different size, color and morphologies in applications such as packaging, automobiles, additives in food, cosmetics, and biomedical materials. The widespread usage of plastics has created large amounts of waste materials, majority of which end up in the environment. The current talk will explain what are the structure and properties of plastics and how such materials become ubiquitous in our life. In addition, the talk will also address the plastics waste disposal and impact on the environment.
Talk 2: “Invisible plastics” by Mr Samarth Bhargava, Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore
Synopsis:It is reported that close to 300 Mtonnes of plastics were produced in 2013 alone, and common synthetic polymers such as polystyrene, polyethylene and poly(methylmethacrylate) are used in many commercial products. Due to the growing market and wide spread usage, many of these articles end up in the environment, which then cause significant adverse impact on living systems. The size of such polymers can range from nanometer to a macroscale. It is difficult to visually observe small plastic pollutants, often due to their small size and/or transparent nature. By encapsulating fluorescent tags into the plastics, it is possible to track the pollutants in animals during their transparent larval stages. Enabling proper visualization of the problem takes us a step closer to understanding the potential impact of plastics in an ecosystem.
Talk 3: “Battling marine trash in Singapore” by Ms Joleen Chan, Zone Captain, International Coastal Clean-up Singapore (ICCS)
Synopsis: One source of microplastic is from the fragmentation and degradation of plastic marine trash. It is thus important that plastic marine debris be removed before they degrade further. In this talk, Joleen will be highlighting what the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) does, and provide insights on marine trash in Singapore from the data gathered from ICCS. Also, she would be sharing on the impact of marine trash on Singapore’s wildlife and the various ways we can contribute to reducing both macro-debris and microplastics in Singapore.
Talk 4: “Microplastics in the marine environment: Insights to distribution, sources and fates in Western Pacific” by Ms Emily Curren Ern-Min, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore
Synopsis: Microplastics demonstrate a global distribution and are ubiquitous in the ocean environment. These plastic particles that are smaller than 5 mm in size are of an increasing concern due to their abundance, environmental fate and toxicological effects on marine biota. This issue is especially pertinent in the Western Pacific as emerging Asian economies and several other countries in the region are ranked the top contributors of plastic waste in the world. Furthermore, limited awareness and scientific knowledge on the impact of microplastic pollution among nations hamper efforts to combat this issue.
To address these needs, standardised methodologies for field sampling and laboratory research have been drawn up to aid the quantification and analysis of microplastics in beach sediments and on surface water across 50 sites. These methods are emphasised to be simple and universally applicable regardless geographic location.
This step forward would greatly establish joint monitoring efforts to tackle the multi-faceted issue of microplastic pollution in the region.