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CISSA, CUSAT Line Up National Expo, Seminar on Single Use Plastic Alternatives

A National Expo and Seminar that would discuss and present alternatives for single-use plastics would get underway at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Kochi, from March 13 to 16.  Being organised under the aegis of the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA) and the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), the four-day National Expo and Seminar will have the support of the Mahatma Gandhi University, APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, UNU Regional Centre for Expertise, Kerala State Productivity Council, Petroleum Conservation Research Association, and Climate Hood.

The National Expo and Seminar will focus on reduction and elimination of single-use plastics by providing alternatives ranging from cloth, glass, wood, paper, vegetable fibers, prawns shell plastic etc.    The event aims to being a mass campaign against single use plastics in India through the introduction of alternatives to plastics and creating awareness on the same among the general public. Apart from the academia, students and the general public, the organisers have evinced keen interest in welcoming industry experts, manufacturing community, business houses, start-ups and entrepreneurs to the four day National Expo and Seminar.

The national seminar and documentary sessions will be led by environmental experts who would discuss practical and innovative solutions to tackle the menace of plastic pollution. Business leaders from key industries and academic institutions will discuss and debate the latest research and products that can be used as plastic alternatives.  Meanwhile, the Expo would prove to be a meeting venue for consumers, suppliers, innovators, and change-makers to share their stories and ideas for a plastic-free community. All companies and organizations attending the event would have the common goal of offering sustainable solutions to reduce plastic waste and contributing towards effectively addressing the global plastic pollution crisis.

Ahead of the mega event, CISSA has called for papers to be presented at the National Seminar. Themes for presentations come under four categories – Material, Management, Design, and Best Practices. Under Material, topics include Sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel-based plastics; Latest material innovations – biomaterial, biochemical, and bioplastics; and Microplastics. Meanwhile, the topics under the Management category would be, Ways for upcycling to reduce plastic footprint;  A circular future with less plastic waste; Consumer attitudes to packaging and educating the masses;  Reducing unnecessary plastics;  Best practice in deposit refund schemes; Extended Producer Responsibility; Low – or no – plastic events; and Plastic and Climate Change

The Design category will include topics such as Responsible packaging design; Sustainable design and end-of-life management; and Improving recyclability of products and packaging, while Best Practices will focus on Business cases for sustainable products; and Recycling.

Papers can be submitted for all the themes. The presenters can opt for oral or poster presentations. However, the review committee will decide the mode and theme of presentation, CISSA officials said. The abstracts should be submitted for both forms of presentations. The paper may be submitted only via online here.

The Best Paper award will be presented for each theme. Registration of one of the authors is mandatory for acceptance of abstract. The last date for submission of abstracts is February 10, 2020.

The Expo is being planned as an unparalleled opportunity to exhibit products or services, build new businesses, interact with industry leaders, create joint-ventures, and tie-ups, and cement customer relationships in the domain of plastic alternatives. All potential product suppliers and buyers would get access to new products and technologies, with live demonstrations, product launches, touch and feel of the products and great networking opportunities, under a single roof.

In October 20019, CISSA, in association with like-minded organizations, youth organizations, and academic institutions, had launched a Multi-Event Campaign for a Single-Use Plastic Free India, in Thiruvananthapuram. The campaign included student and youth assembly, panel exhibitions, photo exhibitions, poster exhibitions, street plays, environmental songs, recitations, skit, mime, folk songs, exhibition on plastic alternatives, various competitions and more. The multi-event campaign will continue for one year and will cover all districts of Kerala.

The National Seminar and Documentary sessions will be led by experts and would discuss practical and innovative solutions to tackle the growing menace of plastic pollution. The seminar sessions will bring together sustainability and environmental experts to discuss practical and innovative solutions. Business leaders from key industries and academics will discuss and debate latest research, sustainable product designs, new manufacturing solutions, recycling and reuse of products and raw materials, as well as the latest and next-generation bio-sourced materials. Experts and delegates from across the country would deliberate on the necessity of phasing out SUP’s and bringing in the traditional and emerging alternatives. Business leaders from key industries and academic will discuss and debate on the latest research and products that can be used as the alternative of the plastic. The Expo would be a meeting point for consumers, suppliers, innovators, and change-makers to share their stories and ideas for a plastic-free community.

In a bid to create awareness about the issue among students, a Student Innovation Forum has also been envisaged. The Forum is intended to provide an opportunity to students so as to showcase their innovative ideas and solutions to tackle the single-use plastic menace in India.
 
The Expo will have stalls providing alternative products of plastic. Products like wooden key cards, bottles/flasks, no-plastic straws, no-plastic takeaway containers, shopping bags, compostable waste collection bags, trays for vegetables, fruits, meat and eggs, ink pens, pencils, and bamboo pens, paper packaging, furniture, and eco-friendly materials will be available for the public to buy. A Business Meet on plastic alternatives available in India is also part of the event. For more information, head here.

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