IIT Delhi organises international symposium on circular economy solutions for plastics, microplastics

IIT Delhi-CRDT organises symposium on circular economy solutions for plastics, microplastics. Scientists, researchers, institutes attend.


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IIT Delhi- international symposium on circular economy solutions for plastics, microplastics. (Picture: Shutterstock)IIT Delhi- international symposium on circular economy solutions for plastics, microplastics. (Picture: Shutterstock)

Ishita Ranganath | November 30, 2022 | 05:26 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi's Centre for Rural Development and Technology (CRDT), oragnised a two-day international symposium on' circular economy solutions for plastics, microplastics: addressing the grand challenge'. This event was held in collaboration with University of Eastern Finland (UEF) as a part of an India-Finland research project.

The circular economy solutions for microplastics (CESMI) research project was funded by the Finland, ministry of education and culture and was implemented through FICORE (Finnish Indian consortia for research and education) network. The initiative involves participation of various research institutes, universities, private and government organizations.

The symposium was attended by delegates from Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) and UEF from Finland, and IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati and IIT Dharwad from India. The event aimed to bring technological, business, social, and policy perspectives from India and Finland towards circular economy solutions for microplastics.

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IIT Delhi, dean, research and development, Sunil Kumar Khare began by discussing various domains of research on plastic contamination in IIT Delhi. He added how circular economy can serve as a potential solution for the contamination and the potential for further collaborations between India and Finland.

The keynote speakers at the IIT Delhi symposium shared their experiences and other background details on several related topics. Central Institute of Petrochemical Engineering and Technology, director general, Shishir Sinha emphasised on the importance of recycling plastics and highlighted how waste segregation at source is a major challenge.

TAMK, associate professor, Marika Kokko spoke about the characterisation of microplastics in the areas of municipal and industrial sludge. UEF, aerosol technology lab, Anna Lahde talked about the valorisation of plastic waste which is difficult to recycle. IIT Delhi, CRDT shared the occurrence, risk management and mitigation strategies of microplastics in different environmental matrices.

Other topics included societal, business and policy perspectives on circular economy solutions for mitigating plastic pollution, problems and challenges in business and societal ecosystems, ONGC initiatives in dealing with plastic waste and action plan for reducing and recycling plastics to ensure proper recycling/processing of different kinds of plastic waste to produce other useful consumable products.

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The panel discussion was led by IIT Guwahati, school of agro and rural technology, associate professor, Sudip Mitra and UEF, Victor Carrasco Navarro on multiple challenges related to microplastic contamination and discuss mitigation strategies.

The second half of the session included oral presentations by scientists and researches from various groups and laboratories. By the end of the symposium, conveners of each group presented the project outlines that emerged out of detailed deliberation and suggested modifications to the projects.

The meeting also has discussion on potential funding opportunities and future collaborations between India and Finland. Students from IIT Delhi shared their research visions on the problem and how they can participate in the project now and in the future.

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