The University of the South Pacific and the International Atomic Energy Agency began discussions for research collaboration on nuclear technology for controlling plastic pollution.
Discussions were initiated following a recent courtesy visit to the USP Laucala Campus by IAEA Director and Head of Technical Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, Jane Gerardo-Abaya, and Project Manager Officer to Fiji and the Pacific, Javier Romero.
A recent study funded by the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership Programme identified microplastics in Fiji waters which were absorbed through seafood.
USP’s Professor Surendra Prasad says they are willing to collaborate especially using nuclear techniques for research on NUTEC plastics with the support of the IAEA.
According to IAEA, NUTEC Plastics enhances the capability of laboratories to study the impacts of plastic pollution in coastal and marine ecosystems.
They utilise nuclear methods to precisely track and quantify the movement and effects of microplastics and co-contaminants.
Nuclear technology also offers solutions to lower the volumes of plastic waste.