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Rudolf Agricola School for Sustainable Development
Bringing sustainability science forward

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Plastic and Microplastics

Plastic is fantastic! It is so versatile and useful that we can now find it everywhere: in our phones, computers, books, clothes, food packaging, water bottles, toothpaste, body creams, and even in our skin and lungs. It is so pervasive that it is now considered an escalating pollution crisis. Our group aims to collaborate in finding causes and solutions to tackle this new upcoming emergency. 

Core areas 

Micro and Nano. Micro- and nano-plastics are plastic particles of a size between 5 millimetres and 1 nanometer that have infiltrated everything on earth, including the top of mount Everest and the air we breathe. The issue of microplastic is getting more and more attention: from alarming news articles to Doctor Who episodes. However, research on these nanoparticles is still scarce and awareness in the general public is extremely low. Our group aims to advance knowledge on micro- and nano-plastics. 

Health and the Environment. (Micro)plastic affects not only human’s health but also the environment. From the perspective of the new concept of Planetary Health, we aim to investigate this issue taking into account the planet as a whole with all its inhabitants. 

Interdisciplinarity. Complex global challenges such as microplastics need an interdisciplinary approach. Our group aims to work on this issue from different perspectives, including environmental (how can we better protect the environment from this threat?), medical (what is the effect of plastic on our health?), polymer science (what are the alternatives to plastic?), psychological perspective (how can we motivate behaviour change in consumers?) and communication (how can we effectively communicate this problem?). Are you from another discipline and interested in this topic? Contact us! 

Societal stakeholders. Tackling real-life problems is more effective when combining the efforts from science and society. Our group aims to cooperate with societal stakeholders, namely municipalities, organisations, companies, citizens’ initiatives and the creative sector.


●       Interdisciplinary School on Microplastics

●       Involvement in Momentum Consortium


Dr. Josefine Geiger (Campus Fryslan)

  • E-mail: j.l.geiger

Prof. Barbro Melgert (FSE/UMCG)

Irene Maltagliati (Faculty of Arts)

Group Members

Last modified:16 October 2023 3.55 p.m.
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