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Posts Tagged ‘waste’

We’re into the third and final week of The Lives and Afterlives of Plastic, it’s been wonderful so far, and I’m looking forwards to working through the last set of presentations.

This week we have a keynote from professor Ian Shaw that looks at plastics and endocrine disrupting chemicals, as well as panels on public awareness of marine plastics, plastics and microfibres/fabrics, waste management, and last of all materiality.

In that final panel is the paper that Trisia Farelly and I co-authored, which is a fairly accessible and informal discussion of a range of issues around plastic, accumulation, toxicity and regulation. It’s called Technofossils and Toxicity, but the Anthropocene/Technofossils bit didn’t make it to the final cut as out original discussion went for way over the 20 minutes

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Plastic rubbish garbage pollution in ocean causes environmental problem

We’re now into the second week of The Lives and Afterlives of Plastic, an onlinbe conference that I’m helping run as part of the Political Ecology research Centre at Massey University.

This week, we have a Keynote from Professor Gay Hawkins entitled Governed By Plastic, as well as having four panels. These look at 1) Packaging Life Cycle Analysis and Design, 2) Representations and Aesthetics, 3) Materiality and 4) Marine Microplastics.

It’s been wonderful watching the diverse and brilliant ways that people have responded to and challenged the idea of what an online version of a conference paper might look like, and it’s been fascinating to watch and hear about such a broad range of projects relating to plastic.

It’s also been really interesting to see how the diverse forms of scholarship form the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities speak to one another.

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plastic polymer granules

This week sees the launch of an online, interdisciplinary conference that I’ve been involved in organizing as part of the Massey University Political Ecology Research Centre. It’s called The Lives and Afterlives of Plastic, and it focuses on the broad range of issues that pertain to plastics, waste, toxicity and pollution.

We’re pleased to say that we’ve got presenters from fields ranging from marine biology and toxicology through to media studies, fine art and anthropology, so there’s a real mix of fields and areas, and will be fascinating to see how that mix of voices works together in the discussions.

The first week of the conference has a keynote from Richard Thompson, who’s one of the world’s top experts on marine plastics, which is titled Marine Debris: Are There Solutions to this Growing Problem?, along with panels the look at the amazing an inspirational Civic Laboratory of Environmental Action Research, a feminist science lab in Newfoundland, Canada, Marine Plastics, and Representation and Aesthetics.

I’m really looking forwards to seeing these presentations, and taking part in the online discussions around them. Being in New Zealand can be quite geographically isolating (especially compared to the UK, where so many researchers and institutions are so close), and online conferences might be a really useful way of allowing us to stay connected to our overseas colleagues without having the ecological (or for that matter economic) cost associated with getting on a plane and flying halfway across the world. Indeed, when the University of California Santa Barbara Environmental Humanities centre ran a similar online conference last year, they estimated that this only involved around 1% of the carbon footprint associated with a traditional conference.

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