Out of sight - Not out of mind
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    A study on how to move towards a circular plastics economy

    My name is Vilma Havas. I work in SALT and have been working on an interdisciplinary PhD about the global plastics economy since January 2019. For the next four years I will be digging into how we produce, use and dispose of plastic materials, in order to find out how we can do all of this in a more sustainable way. In this blog, I will give you an insight to my work and share some of the findings and experiences I’ll have along the way.

    If you have comments, feedback or other inquiries regarding the PhD project, you’ll be able to reach me at vilma@salt.nu.

    – Vilma

    The study is supported by the Norwegian Research Council and my employer, Salt Lofoten (SALT). My supervisors are Dr. Jannike Falk-Andersson from SALT, Dr. Lone Kørnøv from the Danish Center for Environmental Assessment at the Aalborg University, and Dr. Jenna Jambeck from the University of Georgia.

    The state of the circular plastics economy
    The state of the circular plastics economy
    I (Vilma Havas), together with Brita Staal (SALT), Rachel Meidl (Rice University, Baker Institute) and Amy Brooks (University of Georgia) have written a Policy Brief about the complexity of the current plastics economy - and how it should be simplified through the strengthening of regulatory framework, value chain cooperation and design for recycling. [Les mer »]
    The cost-benefit relationship of marine litter recovery
    The cost-benefit relationship of marine litter recovery
    Recently, a concept paper by Jannike Falk-Andersson, Marthe Larsen Haarr and myself was published on Science of The Total Environment. In this paper, we discuss the cost-benefit ratio of marine litter clean-ups, i.e. the consideration of the clean-up efficiency as well as the potential for negative externalities that implementation of clean-up activities may have. These principles, catch per unit effort and the impact on non-target species, are well known from fisheries management. Perhaps it is time to apply these principles when developing marine litter clean-up schemes, too? [Les mer »]
    Calling for extended producer responsibility and centralized plastics recycling
    Calling for extended producer responsibility and centralized plastics recycling
    A few weeks ago, my colleague Brita Staal and I wrote a comment about the Norwegian packaging organization’s roadmap towards a circular plastics economy, published in Teknisk Ukeblad. In this comment, translated to English below, we called for more ambitious strategy that takes us from a linear plastics economy to a circular one within the next decade, not within 2050, as suggested by the roadmap. The comment focuses only on the roadmap, but the concepts can be applied more widely; we call for more focus on extending producer responsibility, standardizing of plastic materials for more efficient recycling and centralizing recycling efforts. I.e. the responsibility of the creation of a circular plastics economy must be moved from the consumer to the plastic producers, buyers and recyclers. [Les mer »]
    Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit 2019
    Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit 2019
    From the 23rd to the 24th of October, Our Ocean conference was arranged in Oslo. In addition to the official conference, Sustainable Oceans Alliance (SOA) arranged a networking event for young professionals and students, called Youth Leadership summit (YLS). [Les mer »]
    A plastic problem or a people problem?
    A plastic problem or a people problem?
    In the last few years, the environmental challenges associated with increasing use of plastics have been very visible in the global media. Images of turtles, birds and whales entangled or suffocated in plastic waste have been filling our newsfeeds, creating a sense of urgency to get rid of plastics altogether. [Les mer »]
    Indonesia
    Indonesia
    In countries like Norway, where I live, the environmental impacts caused by plastic waste can feel distant. The waste management systems are relatively efficient, which is why the vast amounts of plastic waste we produce disappear from sight as soon as we’ve disposed of it. [Les mer »]