Conversations with Changing Streams 4 – Plastic and our oceans

December 1, 2021

On Thursday the 25th of November Changing Streams was joined by Susie Crick (Board Director at the Oceanic Research Institute), Philipp Ullmann (Industry 5.0 Ambassador for Switzerland), Natalie Fée (founder of City to Sea) and Nia Jones (PhD Student at Bangor University) to discuss plastics and our oceans.

Discussions ranged from the effects of plastic in our oceans to where the blame really lies for our plastic crisis. Nia Jones started the need to look at the impacts of plastic pollution holistically and how large environmental crises may be interacting. While the more visible effects may be on our beloved charismatic species in the ocean, the production and distribution of plastic can cause illness and pollution within the communities which live adjacent to the plastic production plants. Philipp Ullman described themselves firstly as “a human”, highlighting the role we have to be stewards over the planet we inhabit while Susie Crick reminded us that well all have a role to play in forcing the hand of those in charge. Natalie Fée informed us that despite a homogeneous recycling system being in the works for the UK, plastic producers need to take ownership and responsibility for the global pollution they are causing.

We then time-travelled 10 years into the future to discuss what we think this crisis might look like. Both realistic and hopeful predictions were shared with a group consensus on the hope we will live within a more circular system, whether within the construction industry or beyond.

Watch the video to see the whole discussion.

Resources mentioned in the discussion:

The Story of Plastic Documentary (free to watch): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCNanJNJ8JA

Review into the links between climate change and marine plastic pollution (open access and free to read): https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969721054693 

City to Sea: https://www.citytosea.org.uk/

Refill Campaign: https://www.refill.org.uk/

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