Research Festival: Plastics, Society and the Environment

Register your place via the SurveyMonkey webpage.

Please note that this event is available to book online through SurveyMonkey. SurveyMonkey is a third-party data capture tool which is not owned or managed by the University of Plymouth. Information about how your data is treated can be found on SurveyMonkey’s Privacy Policy webpage. If you wish to attend this event but do not wish to use SurveyMonkey to book your place, please contact

  • Room 002, Rolle Building, University of Plymouth, PL4 8AA

Save event

The University of Plymouth has a leading international reputation for its work on plastics and microplastics, both in the environment – sources, distribution and impacts; and in their interactions with society.

Together with colleagues at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), the Marine Biological Association (MBA), and the National Marine Aquarium (NMA), Plymouth represents the strongest cluster of scientists working on plastics in the world.

This workshop will bring together colleagues across the disciplines from the University and partner organisations who work in the broad field of plastics, society and the environment. It is intended to strengthen connections, present new collaborative opportunities, identify funding streams, and work together to develop the reputation of Plymouth as the go-to centre for this area of research. 

Led by Professor Richard Thompson OBE and Dr Sabine Pahl with Dr Pennie Lindeque from PML, the event is also supported by the University's Research and Innovation team.


9.00–9.15 Registration and arrival 

9.15–9.30 Welcome address and introduction Professor Richard Thompson OBE, Director of the Marine Institute, and Dr Sabine Pahl, Associate Professor in Psychology

9.30–10.45 Workshop

The workshop will begin with some three-minute elevator pitches, where representatives from each organisation will introduce their area of interest and expertise.

This will be followed by round-table discussions, for participants to debate and explore some key questions around the capabilities, opportunities and challenges that are shared across the Plymouth plastics research community. There will be the chance to move between multiple tables to share perspectives and ideas on a range of topics.

10.45–11.30 Feedback session

The ideas and discussions carried out during the workshop will be shared with the group for open conversation.

11.30–12.00 Closing address by Professor Richard Thompson and networking 

Who is this event for?
This event is intended for the Plymouth-based scientific community working in areas associated with plastics, society and the environment, and will be tailored to those specifically. If your work relates to plastic distribution, pollution and impacts, the interaction of plastics in society, or the wider environment impacted by plastics, then this event will be ideal for you. Numbers are limited so booking is essential.

Previous January 2019 Next
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Plastic pollution and the planet

In the UK, scientists have for years been saying that more needs to be done to combat the problems posed by marine litter and microplastics. But it is only by creating a sea change in public ways of thinking that we can bring about a positive change.

Read Professor Thompson's opinion piece
<p>MadeAtUni logo</p>

Microplastics research highlighted as one of UK’s 100 best university breakthroughs

More plastic has been produced in the last seven years than in all of the last century. Through greater awareness of the problem, the wider world is waking up to this global challenge and the importance of taking action.

The work of the International Marine Litter Research Unit is featured in a campaign from Universities UK

MadeAtUni: reducing marine plastic litter
Marine litter

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are constantly monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact. The University remains open with a safety-first approach to ensure our campuses are ‘covid-secure’ for our staff, students, local community and visitors, in accordance with government guidance.

University advice and guidance on COVID-19

Event photography and video

Please be aware that some of the University of Plymouth's public events (both online and offline) may be attended by University staff, photographers and videographers, for capturing content to be used in University online and offline marketing and promotional materials, for example webpages, brochures or leaflets. If you, or a member of your group, do not wish to be photographed or recorded, please let a member of staff know.