On the 9th of October, the “High-Level Panel on Plastic Governance: A roadmap for the upcoming decade” took place in Vigo to discuss policies related to plastic materials, organised by the H2020 LabPlas project as a parallel session for the EurOCEAN 2023 conference, which took place in the following couple of days.
This High-Level Panel, organised by the team of the H2020 LabPlas project, provided a platform to discuss the governance of plastic materials and products, setting the base for the challenges of the next decade. By giving the stage to researchers specialised in the field, the panel focused on what different actors across Europe are accomplishing, while highlighting the research and milestones attained by the LabPlas project, addressing key aspects of plastics in ecosystems. The roundtable discussion which concluded the event set the tone for the EurOCEAN 2023 Conference, which brought together the European scientific community, the maritime industry, society, and policymakers to discuss the marine science agenda.
‘We have seen that even when there are gaps there is enough knowledge, tools and policies developed in regards of plastic pollution’ summarised Natalia Ospina-Alvarez, and recalled the words of Ricardo Beiras, LabPlas Scientific Coordinator: ‘We are in time to solve the problem’.
The event counted with around 40 participants at the University of Vigo, who joined experts Ricardo Beiras, professor at CIM and the IP of the LabPlas project; Mathilde Maureda, responsible for policies and projects at the Atlantic Arc Commission; Willem De Moor, Deputy Director of JPI Oceans; Begoña Espiña, leader of the Water Quality Research Group at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory; and Gary Kett, a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research – CIIMAR. The event was moderated by Cynthia Gómez, LabPlas Project Manager from the University of Vigo, and Natalia Ospina-Alvarez, Innovation Manager in Blue Economy and Senior Project Officer at the AIR Centre.