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Mitigating plastic waste in Indonesia

Ongoing

Project description

‘A systems analysis approach to reduce plastic waste in Indonesian societies (PISCES)’ is an interdisciplinary project. 

Plastic pollution is one of the world’s biggest environmental challenges. An investment of £20 million by UKRI will support interdisciplinary research that aims to improve understanding of the impacts of plastic pollution in developing countries. The PISCES project has been funded under this initiative and aims to reduce the impact of plastic pollution on communities and the environment in Indonesia. 

The team will be examining socio-economic, behavioural and cultural factors associated with plastic use in Indonesia; developing interventions and assessing their social, environmental and economic benefits. We are working closely with academic partners as well as Governments, NGOs and industry. Project partners include SYSTEMIQ (Project STOP and the Bali Partnership) and The Co-Ordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs National Plastics Action Plan. Indonesia has a rapidly growing economy and the largest archipelago in the world with exceptionally high levels of plastics contaminating its rivers and seas.

PISCES will work along the value chain examining the costs of inaction and benefits of targeted interventions. Our work will mitigate the impacts of plastic pollution and aims to enable cleaner, more resilient and productive environments. We aim to promote economic growth, social inclusion and societal wellbeing including environmental sustainability of oceans and coastal areas.


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Prof. Susan Jobling - I am Director of the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies and a Professor of Environmental Toxicology, with a team comprising two postdoctoral researchers, and two current PhD students. I am interested in how environmental contaminants affect the health of wildlife and humans as exposure to these is a part of our everyday lives, particularly in urban environments where 80% of UK citizens live and work. The diversity and quantity of chemicals released into the environment has risen dramatically in the last few decades and this is causing serious concern about the possible adverse effects of mixtures of these multiple chemicals on human health. The effects of contaminants on wildlife have been studied for more than 30 years, since the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. My work over the last two decades  has focused on the ability of environmental contaminants to mimic chemical messengers (hormones) and alter functioning of the reproductive and endocrine systems. My current research areas include exploring new methods and models with which to determine the safety of mixtures of industrial chemicals and understanding the role of exposure to these chemicals in the manifestation of effects in fish from individual to population levels. From a regulatory perspective, my work has been influential in the development of widespread controls on some chemicals and I am always keen to make sure that my research informs policy. I also have a passion for communication of scientific results and their interpretation to the lay public. Career - I completed my PhD at Brunel University (Department of Biological Sciences) in 1991 and remained at Brunel first as Postdoctoral Researcher (1995-1999) and then as a (tenured) Research Lecturer until 2002; after which I became a Senior Research Fellow (100% research tenured post). From 2004, I set up and directed a consultancy which advises governments and industries on the risks posed by environmental chemicals. In 2010 I was promoted to Professor.