Imagine a world free from ocean toxicity caused by plastic pollution.
Professor Tamara Galloway has been a strong advocate of the negative effects of tiny plastic consumption with marine biology. Her work has spanned the last 14 years removing doubts plastic impacts aquatic food chain. Her work was able to show that while feeding, mussels ingest plastic with their food. Mussels get eaten by large fish and large fish get eaten by even larger fish. Man may consume the larger fish which may cause plastic poisoning.
To reward her contributions to our society, Professor Galloway from the University of Exeter has been put up as a contender for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Impact Award. Professor Galloway and her team fall under the Societal Impact category. On the 3rd of December, winners would be declared and the venue will be at the Natural History Museum.
Relevance of Professor Galloway’s work
Recycling: Professor Galloway’s work ensures existing plastic longevity by recycling. Proper recycling to ensure no plastic waste emission gets discharged into the ocean.
UK ban: Professor Galloway’s work has helped support the ban on microbeads enacted by the UK this year. By this act 4,000 tons won’t be emitted into waterways anymore. Ned Garnett, NERC’s Associate Director of Research recognizes Professor Galloway’s positive crucial work intervention and its impact on legislation.
Household items: there is more awareness of the effects of microplastics in house hold items like mascara, cosmetics and coffee cups. The awareness and subsequent ban has been a positive step in curbing the use of microplastics in cosmetics. Microbeads, tiny forms of polyethylene are put as exfoliants for beauty and health items (in toothpaste and cleansers)
Circular plastic re-use helps curb plastic waste emissions unlike linear plastic use. The ban on the use of microbeads and the huge global awareness of its use in household products is a right step in curbing its menace.
Professor Galloway’s strong belief in creating a better environment and leaving behind a lasting legacy for generations yet unborn is well appreciated.