UPAD Conferences “Curious by Nature” in Vipiteno and Brunico

The fruitful collaboration with the UPAD Foundation in the field of science dissemination continues. This time, the Vipiteno and Brunico venues were involved, where two conferences held by Massimo Donegà were proposed, on 21/02/2024 in Vipiteno and on 13/03/2024 in Brunico, on the complex topic of plastics and related environmental problems.

What exactly are we talking about when we use the term ‘plastic’? Today, this term refers to thousands of different types of products and these cover the most diverse uses in everyday life and for the entire world population. Different plastics have different characteristics and are made up of, in addition to the main polymer, thousands of different molecules added to achieve the characteristics required for their use (plasticisers, colouring agents, softeners, flame retardants and others) and this also makes their disposal and possible reuse complicated.

During the conferences, the various polymers that we encounter in everyday life were presented, the codes that represent them and how we can recognise them based on the labels we find on different materials.

In addition, it was explained which plastics can be recovered, recycled, or disposed of and what could be done to reduce the amount of plastic that is used every day by everyone, which is fundamental information for every aware citizen.

Bioplastics were also discussed, how they should be used and disposed of, and the problem created by the huge number of plastics being released into the environment, a problem that more and more researchers are addressing worldwide. It was explained what microplastics are, what problems they pose both now and, in the future, and what small steps can be taken to limit their release into the environment.

To better illustrate the content of the meetings, a flyer was delivered to participants, which can be downloaded here in italian and in german.

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