1 October 2018
E&H plastic expert Dr. Heather Leslie presented her knowledge of the still largely uncharted risks of micro- and nanoplastic on human health and the environment at the Plastic Soup session of the Springtij Sustainability Conference on Terschelling Island, the Netherlands (27-29 September 2018). After describing the complex chemical and particulate exposure problem that plastic pollution poses, she gave a vision of clean oceans and plastic-free human bodies - beyond the horizon, but perhaps someday in our reach.
Presented by Harm Edens, the panel consisted of Stientje van Veldhoven (State Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management), Captain Charles Moore (Algalita), Anniek Mauser (Unilever), Geanne van Arkel (Interface), Roland Amoureus (Renewi), Merijn Tinga (Plastic Soup Surfer), Francis Zoet (The Great Bubble Barrier) and the VU’s Dr. Heather Leslie. Eelco Leemans and Sven Jense (Climate Cleanup) organized this session which embraced science, politics, industry, entrepreneurs and civil society.
Since 2010, Springtij has emphasized the added value of the art-science interface and combining that within a web of societal actors, all meeting actively in nature. In addition to her scientific contribution Dr. Leslie performed with the Springtij ‘house band’ Rose Hip at various moments during the conference, providing a musical connection to the conference topics. For example, Rose Hip’s original Plastic Vortex song was among those played to warm up and energize the participants of the Plastic Soup session at the outdoor venue, the “Green Beach” at low tide.