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Plastic Day @ WUR (6th Edition)

The 6th Workshop of the Wageningen Community of Practice on Plastics

What is a Community of Practice?

A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common interest in a specific area of knowledge or expertise and interact regularly to improve their skills, learn from each other, and develop professionally. In 2019 the WUR CoP on Plastics in Nature and Society was launched.

During bi-yearly meetings, employees and students from WUR’s CoP on Plastics in Nature and Society convene to discuss a range of topics related to plastics. These workshops, referred to as ‘Plastic Days’, provide insights into one another's work, unveil key questions across different fields, and encourage networking.

The workshop in April 2024

Last month, the 6th Plastic Day was organised to further enhance the communication and collaboration in the CoP. In total, 65 scientists from 20 different WUR research groups across six departments - Agrotechnology and Food Science, Biobased Science, Environmental Science, Plant Science, Wageningen Marine Research, and Social Science - participated. Their research interests ranged from modifying plastic production for enhanced sustainability and improving recycling methods and uses, to exploring the types and pathways of plastics in the environment and their impacts on environmental quality and human health.

The highly interactive workshop featured research updates through presentations and a poster session, as well as networking and discussion rounds (see pictures below). During these discussion rounds, we exchanged our views and experiences both on plastic related questions such as “How should we deal with uncertainties in plastic research?” and “How should different parts of the plastic life cycle be targeted by policy makers?” but we also discussed more general questions such as “How do you keep up with plastic literature?” and “How can we establish a cohesive narrative on plastics at WUR?”. 

We finished the day with some examples on how we already collaborate. For example, a short presentation was given by the developers of the massive open online course (MOOC) on plastic pollution in soil, water and air.  Moreover, some people shared their current design for a figure that would capture all the plastic expertise that WUR has to offer. In conclusion, it was an inspiring day, with many discussions and newly gained insights.


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