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Biodegradable plastics: how do we engage with consumers and society?

Calendar Friday, 21 May 2021
Calendar 14:00-15:30

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Biodegradable plastics webinar details

Public awareness and concern over plastics pollution are at an all-time high.  At the same time, the public is often uncertain and confused about what to do with plastic items after use.  

This webinar will facilitate discussion between an expert panel and a live international audience, addressing a range of questions including:

  • How are biodegradable plastics perceived, understood and used by consumers and other sectors of society?
  • How can communication, education and labelling help support the appropriate use, management and disposal of biodegradable plastics?
  • What market-based initiatives and policy options can help us achieve the necessary awareness and behaviour change to prevent biodegradable plastics that are designed for managed waste, such as composting, from ending up in the open environment?


  • Professor Wouter Poortinga, Professor of Environmental Psychology, Cardiff University
  • Professor Pete Lunn, Head of the Behavioural Research Unit, Economic & Social Research Institute
  • Professor Tatiana Filatova, TU Delft
  • Professor Klaus Menrad, Professor of Marketing and Management of Biogenic Resources, University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf
  • Professor Sabine Pahl, Professor of Urban and Environmental Psychology, University of Vienna
  • Dr Liam Carr, Lecturer and Programme Coordinator, NUI Galway
  • Silvia Forni, Policy Officer, European Commission Directorate-General for Environment
  • Samantha Fahy, Sustainability Manager, Dublin City University

We will also showcase the work of artist and printmaker, Heather Nunn. Through her work, she expresses her passion for the environment whilst challenging the imbalances between modern society and nature. 

Heather will be introduced by Professor Richard Thompson, Director of the Marine Institute, University of Plymouth.

This webinar is part of a series organised by SAPEA, in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy, drawing on the Evidence Review Report ‘Biodegradable plastics in the open environment’ and the associated Scientific Opinion by the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors.

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