The January talk will be given by Prof Andrea Russell, Professor of Physical Electrochemistry at the School of Chemistry, University of Southampton. Prof Russell will be talking about her research into the problems of plastics.
David Attenboroughâ€™s Blue Planet programme highlighted the problems with plastics in the oceans, but the problems with plastics in the environment have been known for quite some time.Â Prof. Andrea Russell, collaborating with Prof. Richard Thompson of Plymouth University, was one of the authors on the paper that introduced the term microplastics in the scientific literature back in 2004 in a paper called â€œLost at Sea, Where is all the Plasticâ€.
In this talk weâ€™ll have look at the problem with plastics.Â The more common plastics in use will be discussed. Then weâ€™ll consider the role of recycling and composting and explore how microplastic fragments wind up in the natural environment.Â Weâ€™ll also consider where plastics are necessary to modern life and why total elimination of their use is probably not the answer to the plastics problem.
If you are planning on coming to the talk and have a compost bin, you are encouraged to select one â€œcompostableâ€ plastic item, to put this in your compost bin in early December, and then to extract it and bring it along to the talk.