With generous sponsorship from Covestro, the CSP hosts an annual Covestro Lectureship in Sustainability. In 2021 the lecture was held virtually by Dr. Jenna Jambeck on the topic Sea to Source: Reducing Plastics in our Environment.
Plastic debris and its impacts in the environment have been widely documented, but the quantity entering the ocean from land was previously unknown. By linking worldwide data on solid waste, population density, and economic status, it is estimated the mass of land-based plastic waste entering the ocean at 5 – 13 million metric tons. Cumulative global plastic production reached 8 billion metric tons in 2017 and 6.4 billion metric tons has become waste that has overwhelmed some waste management systems around the world that have not been able to keep up infrastructure with economic growth.
Dr. Jenna Jambeck presented an intervention framework to reduce plastic ending up in our environment, while sharing stories of integrating technology and citizen science, science communication, and community-level efforts to address plastic pollution around the globe.
Dr. Jenna Jambeck is a Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia (UGA), Director of the Center for Circular Materials Management in the New Materials Institute and a National Geographic Fellow. She has been conducting research on solid waste issues for over 24 years with related projects on marine debris since 2001. She also specializes in global waste management issues and plastic contamination.