Whether in the sea, in rivers, in the soil or in the air, microplastics are everywhere to be found. Public awareness of the problems that even the smallest particles of plastic create for man and the environment is high. However, to date very little has been done to remedy the situation, although promising technologies exist to detect, remove and prevent microplastics. In order to make them more visible, the FILTECH 2022 will be holding the Stop Microplastics Pollution! Innovation Forum from March 8–10, 2022. The Innovation Forum will be organized in collaboration with the non-profit company Wasser 3.0.
Scientists, policymakers and the general public all agree that microplastics pose a problem for both humans and the environment. However, although the discharge of plastic particles into the environment has been studied scientifically for many years, a great many questions remain unanswered. Which quantities of microplastics are to be found in the world’s oceans, in rivers and groundwater, in forests, agricultural soils and in the air? Which technologies are most suitable for removing the existing pollution and effectively reducing future pathways? And which particles exactly are regarded as microplastics in the first place? The FILTECH wants to provide answers to these questions.
Platform for innovation and cooperation
How can we start solving the problem – right now? Motivated by this question, researchers, practitioners, industry representatives, policymakers, NGOs and activists will meet at the Innovation Forum to exchange ideas. “Microplastics are a global environmental problem that society is aware of,” says Dr. Katrin Schuhen. The managing director of the non-profit green tech company Wasser 3.0 is one of the co-initiators of the Stop Microplastics Pollution! Innovation Forum. “There are solutions to the problem,” Dr. Schuhen continues, “and they now need to be given a platform.”
After all, a whole range of promising technologies capable of measuring, reducing or preventing microplastics pollution are highly innovative, but still not sufficiently well known – let alone used. The Innovation Forum provides greater visibility – not only among policymakers and society, but also among potential users. Over a three-day period, the focus will be placed on a variety of aspects: Day 1 will highlight methods for detecting microplastics in the air, soil and water, Day 2 will present removal technologies. Day 3 is dedicated to the bigger picture and will concentrate on the political, social and economic aspects.
The cooperation partners involved in Wasser 3.0 are not interested in a purely economically driven competition. “Although our detection, removal and recycling processes are also innovative products newly available on the market and designed to foster a holistic approach to plastics and microplastics, our real concern is a socio-ecological transformation and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” says Dr. Schuhen, explaining the motivation for Wasser 3.0 to curate the Innovation Forum at the FILTECH. “There are plenty of good approaches and technologies for doing so. We see the solutions developed by Wasser 3.0 as a piece of the puzzle when it comes to tackling the gigantic tasks that lie ahead of us in terms of environmental and climate protection as quickly, effectively and cooperatively as possible,” Schuhen continues.
Call for papers for the Conference ends in September
“Scientific dialogue and the presentation of recent research results as well as innovative technologies have a long tradition in the FILTECH Conference section,” Suzanne Abetz of FILTECH Exhibitions Germany explains. “Whether air filters, solid-liquid separation in production scenarios or screening and classifying – visitors really appreciate the cooperative atmosphere at the Conference, which thrives on openness and interaction,” she continues.
The general Conference area has been an integral part of the FILTECH from the very beginning. As a combination of trade show and congress, it focuses on research results and innovative developments as well as marketable products and services. There have already been over 200 submissions for the 2022 Conference, presenting solutions for the challenges of both today and tomorrow in the filtration and separation of all types of media. Further applicants can still submit their abstracts via the FILTECH website up to September 10, 2021 [https://exhibitors.filtech.de/abstract-submission].
Applying for the Innovation Forum with an impulse video
In order to participate in the Stop Microplastics Pollution! Innovation Forum as a separate event, applications are being sought that demonstrate a high degree of innovation, but the potential of which has already been proven with data from pilot trials and long-term studies (TRL 7+). All those interested are invited to submit a short impulse video and suitable references by October 1, 2021 [https://filtech.de/exhibition/microplastics-innovation-forum/].
On days 1 and 2 of the Conference, the various solutions will be presented in a pitch session, followed by a moderated panel discussion and a guided stand tour. Day 3 will provide impulses and scope for discussions on the political, economic and social aspects of microplastics as a global environmental problem and as a danger to the health of humans and animals alike. Each day, up to five participants will have the opportunity to present their solutions to the FILTECH audience. The Stop Microplastics Pollution! Innovation Forum will be held for one and a half hours on each of the three days of the trade show.