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Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern professor teams up to lead workshop on plastic pollution in Vietnam

Georgia Southern University Professor of Biology Lissa Leege, Ph.D., was part of a team that recently led a workshop in Vietnam on the negative effects plastic pollution has on the ocean. Leege said she expects the workshop will indirectly reach the 2,300 high school teachers and 40,000 high school students of the Binh Dinh Province through the 100 educators who attended.

“It was a privilege to be a part of this effort, and I am hopeful that this will be the start of a broader, country-wide initiative,” she said. “The conference highlighted the global nature of the plastic problem. Because Western nations often export plastic recycling to Southeastern Asian nations, the plastic that we use here often ends up becoming their problem. But that comes back to us in contaminated seafood and unhealthy marine ecosystems.”

Numerous high level government officials from Vietnam attended the workshop in a show of support for the conference. Vietnam is the fourth-largest source of plastic waste discharge into the oceans, which affects the province of Binh Dinh’s primarily fishing-based economy.

The workshop was a part of a National Geographic Society Education Grant focused on educating high school teachers about reducing plastic pollution in the ocean. Leege partnered with faculty from Loyola University Chicago, Baylor University and University of California, Riverside during the workshop.

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