During the 45th FEBS Congress held in Ljubljana (3-8 July, 2021), the FEBS Science and Society Committee organized a session on the topic Plastics: revolution, pollution and substitution. With the aim to reach a wider audience, the Committee also announced a call for proposals from Constituent Societies for events or activities under the same theme.
Accordingly, the FEBS Science and Society Committee decided to sponsor two proposals in 2022 with €1500 each. The Italian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SIB) was one of the awardees, with a proposal to organize the public engagement event “I’m in plastic: it’s not fantastic”.
This hybrid live event, addressed to high-school students, was coordinated by professors Loredano Pollegioni, Elena Rosini and Gianluca Molla of the research group ”The Protein Factory 2.0” (University of Insubria, Varese, Italy) on 15th November 2022.
Several young and senior researchers accompanied by a scientific journalist explained to the audience how biotechnologies could provide new "green" solutions to the ambitious challenge posed by plastic pollution, with a specific consideration to the aspects of the circular bioeconomy.
During the event, 5 short videos (out of 27) created by high-school students and focused on the theme “Plastics: revolution, pollution, and substitution” have been awarded.
In addition, a permanent website (in English and Italian) has been built with the aim not only to host the contributions of the event speakers but also to become an aggregation point for relevant information about scientific, social activities and news related the plastic biodegradation and development of innovative bioplastics. This website will stimulate the general audience, scientists and policy makers to face these challenging issues.