Sustainable solutions: Plastics

In collaboration with the Faculty of Science

28feb2020 17.00 - 18.30


In times of climate change and ecological crisis we often think and speak about problems. Meanwhile, scientists are working on solutions for a more sustainable future. In a new series of events we shed light on their exciting work-in-progress. This afternoon we start off with plastics.

Our society has a serious plastics problem. Long held in high regard as a cheap, practical and modern material, we are now starting to see the downsides of our plastic addiction. Remnants of plastics are polluting the oceans and other parts of the environment, endangering wildlife. At the same time, with the world oil reserves running out, we are running out of the raw material plastics are made of. At the University of Amsterdam, scientists from a broad range of fields are working on solutions for a more sustainable future – including solutions for the plastic problem. These solutions include novel ways of raising awareness, but also the development of new types of plastic from sustainable source materials and improved techniques for re-use and recycling. During this event we gain insight in scientific developments and discuss how we, as a society, can tackle environmental challenges.

About the speakers

Gert-Jan Gruter is professor by special appointment in Industrial Sustainable Chemistry at the University of Amsterdam. In his work he focuses on the transition to a circular economy, and more specifically the transition from a fossil-based to a bio-based economy. This involves connecting sustainable development to the production of energy and chemicals. Gruter also works at the chemical technology company Avantium, were he is responsible for all R&D programmes in the field of Renewable Chemistry. His ground-breaking work includes the development of a new type of plastic based on biological sugars.

Hande Sungur is a lecturer at the renowned Amsterdam School of Communication Research of the University of Amsterdam. She recently received funding from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) for an innovative project to raise awareness for our society’s plastic problem. She will use Virtual Reality techniques to let people directly experience the problem, giving them a better grasp of the extent of it and hopefully in this way change our behavior regarding plastic use and ocean pollution.

Nadine Böke (moderator) is science communications officer of the University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Science. Originally trained as a biologist, she is now a science communication expert with a wide experience in explaining science to the public through written articles, radio, television, and public events.

Sign up

You can sign up for this program for free. If you sign up, we count on your presence. If you are unable to attend, please let us know via | T: +31 (0)20 525 8142.

Gepubliceerd door  Spui25