SETAC Conference in Dublin, Ireland

SETAC Conference in Dublin, Ireland 1280 720 webgo-admin

SETAC Conerence in Dublin, Ireland
Emna Abeljaoued, ESR05, Evonik Technology & Infrastructure GmbH

From 30 April to 4th May, I got the chance to participate in the SETAC Europe 33rd annual meeting in Dublin, Ireland. The conference was an amazing opportunity to present my project about nanoplastics and its challenges. I had the chance also to know and network with researchers from different parts of the world who work on similar fields or importantly different fields but the goal is one. I would admit that I enjoyed the poster session a lot as I had the time to talk face to face to the presenter, ask as many questions as I could and look at the different beautiful visualizations for enough time!

The organizations and industries exihibition was insightful as well, as it allowed me to have some detailed information about the process, mechanisms and some interesting technologies.

Last but not least, it always cheers me up to meet up again with my LimnoPlast fellows during such conferences and events!

Online school lecture on plastic pollution

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Online school lecture on plastic pollutio
Emna Abdeljaoued, Azora König Kardgar, Vaibhav Budhiraja, Minh Trang

On 26th April 2023, Emna Adbeljaoued and her LimnoPlast fellows (Azora König Kardgar, Vaibhav Budhiraja and Minh Trang) had the opportunity to give a school lecture about plastic pollution, microplastics and nanoplastics to a small group of students from a school in Malaysia.

Emna was amazed by the enthusiasm and interest showed by the scholars at that age. They were not only listening to know but rather to apply this knowledge immediately on a microplastics school project😊

Emna, personally, has always enjoyed explaining scientific concepts to kids and students because it makes her learn how to simplify things and to reask and answer some questions that we can not usually get in normal professional presentations.

Workshop about Fashion and Microplastics for Schools

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Workshop about Fashion and Microplastics for Schools
developed by Maja Grünzner and Bettina Fischer in collaboration with the Austrian Verein ScienceCenter Netzwerk

In collaboration with the “Mission Future” project, workshops that provide a playful approach to understanding the topic of microplastics were developed by researchers in Vienna, Austria. Three workshops were developed lasting between 1-1.5 hours and can be linked with the Escapebox Ocean Eye. However, they can also be conducted independently in educational settings, such as in school lectures. Maja Grünzner and Bettina Fischer developed one of the workshops, focusing on the current findings of microplastics research, fashion and waste. Within the workshop participants learn how clothing can cause environmental pollution in form of fibrous microplastics and are encouraged to reflect on the use of different clothing materials. In addition, a platform is provided to think about social relevant questions such as the responsibility of different stakeholders across the clothing life cycle and offers a safe space to discuss solutions in an engaging but removed setting using roleplay.

Curious? Find out more below.

Interview with Maja about the Workshop (German)
Blog article about Fast Fashion (German/English)
Workshop Materials (German)

Enormous Media Interest

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The UNESCO EU-H2020 LimnoPlast conference in Paris generated enormous media interest.

The international collaborative project LimnoPlast, funded by the EU, is the first European project on microplastics research to systematically network natural, environmental, technical and social sciences. It is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch, spokesperson of the SFB “Microplastics” at the University of Bayreuth. From 6 to 8 March 2022, UNESCO and LimnoPlast jointly hosted an international conference in Paris. The focus was on the pollution of freshwater by microplastics.

Reactions to the event were varied. Michael Evers from the Deutsche Presse Agentur (dpa) interviewed Laforsch and the Spiegel, BR Radio, Deutschlandfunk and other media had also taken notice. As a result, the topic of microplastics in freshwater was taken up in 194 media.

Here a selection of the published articles and interviews:

Abstract Book online

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UNESCO – EU H2020 LimnoPlast Conference – Diving into freshwater microplastic pollution: Connecting water, environmental and social sciences

The abstract book of the UNESCO – EU H2020 LimnoPlast Conference is available online. Please find here all abstracts of the speakers and posters:

The contribution of PhD Candidate Giorgia Carratta and the LimnoPlast Project to the 2023 UN Water Conference (New York, USA)

The contribution of PhD Candidate Giorgia Carratta and the LimnoPlast Project to the 2023 UN Water Conference (New York, USA) 1280 720 webgo-admin

The contribution of PhD Candidate Giorgia Carratta and the LimnoPlast Project to the 2023 UN Water Conference (New York, USA)

The 2023 UN Water Conference – formally known as the 2023 Global Midterm Review Conference on the Implementation of the UN Decade for Water and Sanitation (2018-2028) – took place last month (22-24 March 2023) at the UN Headquarters, New York. Co-hosted by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Tajikistan, the Conference brought together world leaders, civil society, business leaders, young people, scientists, academics, the UN System and others around a common goal: to tackle the water crisis and set the world back on track to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 – On Clean Water and Sanitation. To this scope, the event included an opening and closing session, six plenary sessions, five interactive dialogues, and side events organized by participants.

Giorgia Carratta, PhD Candidate at the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management (Germany) for the LimnoPlast Project, gave a speech on the legal implications of freshwater microplastic pollution at the hybrid side event titled “Mainstreaming Ecological Restoration in Freshwater Ecosystems: Insights from Law, Practice and Research around the World”. Organized by the University of Evora, the Society of Ecological Restoration and Water4All, this event brought together a global panel of experts to discuss legal challenges and policy opportunities related to the restoration of freshwater ecosystems. In this context, Giorgia highlighted the disruptive effects of microplastic pollution on aquatic habitats today and the need to encourage preventive actions over recovery-oriented strategies.

Last but not least, at the end of the event, Giorgia had the honour and pleasure of signing a voluntary commitment to promote the adoption of standards-based ecological restoration for inland and coastal waters.

Networking Meeting in Paris

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The third Network Meeting in person took place directly after the LimnoPlast conference in Paris, France. We had a complete day to review the conference and to formulate our Key Messages. Moreover, we also enjoyed the time  together and had the chance to see Paris by boat.

Science meets Art – Conference Artist

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Science Meets Art – Science of Microplastics and the Art of Plastics 

 As part of the LimnoPlast conference, the artist Mbongeni Buthelezi was a guest at L’Academie du Climat. Using novel techniques developed by himself, he processes plastic waste into expressive images and sculptures with colorful textured surfaces. During the conference dinner, the researchers of LimnoPlast and the participants got in contact with the artist and had the chance to see him working on his latest artwork. Many conversations were held and together the current problems around plastics were discussed. 


Mbongeni Buthelezi was born in 1965 in Newcastle/South Africa and grew up in Johannesburg. After studying at the African Institute of Art in Cape Town, he completed a teacher training course at the Johannesburg Art Foundation. This was followed by studies at Witwatersrand University, from which he graduated with a degree in Fine Arts. Buthelezi works with a unique technique: he creates his works from plastic waste by using a heat gun to melt it onto a thick plastic sheet for roofing. 

UNESCO – EU H2020 LimnoPlast Conference

UNESCO – EU H2020 LimnoPlast Conference 1280 720 webgo-admin
UNESCO – EU H2020 LimnoPlast Conference – Diving into freshwater microplastic pollution: Connecting water, environmental and social sciences

The UNESCO – EU H2020 LimnoPlast Conference at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris was a complete success. More than 100 scientists, companies and media representatives attended the conference in person and additionally 80 people used the online broadcast to listen to the presentations.

The conference aimed to put the challenge of freshwater microplastic pollution at the centre of the UN global agenda for sustainable development. Not only knowledge and innovative solutions, generated by the scientists and Early-stage Researchers supported by the H2020 LimnoPlast project, were disseminated, but the conference also provided a global discussion platform on action that can be taken by all stakeholders to reduce the freshwater microplastic pollution and its impact on water resources, ecosystems, wildlife and the ocean.

The Keynote Speaches of the Conference were given by Bethanie Carney Almroth, Denise Mitrano, Sabine Pahl, Lila Durix and Richard Thompson. Further 26 presentations focused the conference on the following topics:

  • Sources of microplastics in freshwater ecosystems
  • Impacts on freshwater biota and public health
  • Social & behavioral science, economics and legal perspectives
  • Innovative technological solutions to the microplastic issue

The conference was rounded off by two poster sessions and the concluding science & policy dialogue on microplastics pollution. The panel was moderated by Aude Vidal. The participants of the panel were Moira Tourneur from Zero Waste France, Lucie Padovani from Surfrider Foundation Europe, Xavier Leflaive from OECD and Richard Thompson from the University of Plymouth.

UNESCO – LimnoPlast conference – online participation possible

UNESCO – LimnoPlast conference – online participation possible 2000 1333 webgo-admin


Soon it will be time – the LimnoPlast conference will take place at UNESCO Headquaters in Paris from the 06 – 08 of March.

If you are unable to attend our conference in person but would like to view the presentations, please register for our live webinar to participate in the conference online using the following link:

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