NUI Galway to Host Plastic Recycling in Ireland Online Event Today

Nov 12 2020 Posted: 15:21 GMT

As part of Science Week, a research group from NUI Galway will host the event, ‘Plastic Recycling in Ireland - How to improve plastic recycling together’. This event will focus on the fate of plastic after it has been used and how we can improve plastic recycling as users. It takes place today (Thursday, 12 November) at 5pm and is free and open to the public.

The Innovative Energy Technologies for Biofuels, Bioenergy and Sustainable Irish Bioeconomy (IETSBIO3) is an international research group led by Professor Piet Lens at NUI Galway. The group’s focus is on novel technologies for alternative fuels and renewable commodities from waste and wastewater treatment.

Ireland is one of the biggest producers of plastic waste in the EU per inhabitant. Often, recyclable plastic ends up in the general waste bin or non-recyclable products are mixed within the recycling bin. Or even worse, plastic ends up on the streets, in rivers and the ocean.

The event will feature presentations from professionals from industry, academia and society, followed by an open discussion where contribution is invaluable and all questions and suggestions for improving plastic recycling skills are encouraged.

Presentations will be made by:

  • Liam Dunne, General Manager, Panda Group will discuss - Domestic Recycling in Ireland. It will cover what happens to your plastic when it has been collected for recycling; how plastic is collected and then separated, and the most common problems of incorrect disposal and how this affects the recycling process; the measurements that Panda Group is taking to improve recycling practices.
  • Dr Liam Morrison, Earth and Ocean Sciences, Ryan Institute, NUI Galway will discuss - To flus or not to flush – wet wipes as a source of microplastic in the ocean. This presentation will focus on white microplastics fibres in the marine environment from the inappropriate disposal of sanitary products in Ireland. Sediments adjacent to a wastewater treatment plant in Galway City are consistently strewn with white microplastic fibres that are comparable to those from commercially available consumer sanitary products (wet wipes and sanitary towels). Increased public awareness of microplastic pollution is required and human behaviour should shift away from the inapt disposal of sanitary products down the toilet.
  • Michele Hallahan – Advisor to the Office of the Provost, TCD will discuss - The evolution of behaviour regarding recycling of plastics. It will focus on sustainability, based on the experience of the speaker, how the behaviour of the people have evolved in the last few years in Ireland. As well as a short overview about some of the programmes carried out to promote and improve plastic recycling skills. And in Michele’s opinion how we can improve it at home day by day.

Professor Lens' group at NUI Galway aims to achieve more environmentally friendly technologies and is working to further develop sustainable practices in Ireland at all levels, such as households, education, industries, and policy. By sharing the specific knowledge of different stakeholders it will help towards achieving a zero-waste and circular economy approach to environmental concerns.

The group is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, and is part of MaREI and the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway.

To join the event on MS Teams, logon to:


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