Towards a sustainable future: Preventing marine plastics and advancing circular economy

Past Event
Towards a sustainable future:  Preventing marine plastics and advancing circular economy

NCAER hosted an online lecture titled “Towards a sustainable future: Preventing marine plastics and advancing circular economy,” presented by Dr Joyashree Roy1 (Professor at AIT Thailand), Dr Ekbordin Winijkul2 (Associate Professor at AIT Thailand) and Dr Tanujjal Bora3 (Associate Professor at AIT Thailand), and discussed by in-house faculty Dr Sanjib Pohit and Dr Chetana Chaudhuri, as part of its Virtual Dialogue Room Seminar Series chaired by Dr Souryabrata Mohapatra on Friday, 29 May 2024, at 4:00 pm IST.


This event showcased the collaborative efforts and applied research undertaken within pioneering undertakings: (1) PISCES: Explored the project’s innovative framing in addressing marine plastic pollution; (2) Polyurethane Foam Upcycling: Sharing the catalytic approach employed in upcycling foam waste, particularly from mattresses, and the sustainable solutions proposed by the project; and (3) Marine Plastics Abatement: Highlighted insights into the comprehensive strategies devised by the program to mitigate the impact of marine plastics through cross-disciplinary collaboration and stakeholder engagement. During the event, our distinguished panellists underlined the transdisciplinary research, mutual learning and knowledge co-production processes inherent in these initiatives. By fostering a collaborative learning environment, we aim to accelerate innovation and co-create sustainable solutions that address challenges across the entire waste lifecycle.

Speaker Quote:

  • “Design science-based economic instruments for finance mobilization, infrastructure, maintenance, awareness, and policy incentives for plastic waste handling.” – Prof Joyashree Roy
  • “Prioritize upcycling over recycling for energy efficiency, resource savings, and reduced reliance on virgin materials. Foster technological and social innovations.” – Dr Tanujjal Bora
  • “Implement capacity-building programs, integrating communities, industry, and academia. Allocate resources for innovative recycling, circular economy models, and behavior change strategies.” – Dr Ekbordin Winijkul
  • “Promote bioplastics and biodegradable substitutes through policy interventions like tax/subsidy instruments.” – Prof Sanjib Pohit
  • “With a coastline of more than 7000 km and rising use of plastic in everyday life, India needs to emphasize on marine plastic pollution abatement programs and legislations; and needs to explore innovative research solutions and business models.” – Dr Chetana Chaudhuri


1 Joyashree Roy is currently the Distinguished Professor and Founder Director of the Centre on South and South-East Asia Multidisciplinary Applied Research Network on Transforming Societies of Global South (SMARTS) and the Inaugural Bangabandhu Chair Professor at the Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand). She is also the Honorary Professor at the Centre for Disaster and Research at IIT Guwahati (India). She is the Founding advisor of the two multi-year projects at Jadavpur University: The Global Change Programme and the SYLFF-JU program. She is a former Professor of Economics at Jadavpur University (India). She is listed among the world’s top 2% of influential scientists in the Energy field as per rankings published by Stanford University in 2023. She is a national fellow of the Indian Council of Social Sciences Research (ICSSR). She received the 2021 Paradigm Award from The Breakthrough Institute (USA). She was in the IPCC 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning panel and Coordinating Lead Author in the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth assessment cycles of WGIII of IPCC. IPCC is also the co-sharer of the Gulbenkian Prize 2022. She has been a chapter author of Global Energy Assessment and is associated with the Stern Review Report and many other global and national subnational reports. She is on the winning team for the 2012 Prince Sultan Bin Aziz Creativity Award for water. She has published over 175 peer-reviewed journal articles and authored and edited books. She is on the Steering/advisory committee of several national and international science-policy interactive platforms and the editorial boards of many international journals. Her research interests are resource and environmental economics, the economics of pollution and climate change, modelling industrial and other sectoral energy demand, economy-wide modelling exercises for deriving policy implications, water quality demand modelling, water-energy-carbon pricing, sustainable development, natural resource accounting, valuing environmental services, developmental and environmental issues relevant for informal sectors, coastal ecosystem service valuation. She features in the documentary Juice: How Electricity Explains the World, which explains how developing countries are trying to bring people out of the dark and to the lights and transform lives.

2 Ekbordin Winijkul is the Head of the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Change (EECC) and an Associate Professor in the Environmental Engineering and Management program at the Asian Institute of Technology. He got his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering in 2015 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA). His research interests are emission inventory, air pollution modelling and monitoring, air quality management, and environmental technology and management. Before joining AIT, Ekbordin was a project coordinator for the World Bank project to reduce air pollution emissions from diesel vehicles in Bangkok. He also worked at Argonne National Laboratory (USA), International Institute for Applied System Analysis (Austria) and Atmospheric and Environmental Research Inc. (USA), focusing on emission inventory development of multiple anthropogenic combustion sources. His research focuses on near real-time air pollution emission inventory development, modelling of impacts of air pollution policies, cost-benefit analysis of air quality control technologies, airborne microplastics and air quality modelling and monitoring using remote sensing data.

3 Tanujjal Bora is the Director of the Center of Excellence in Nanotechnology (CoEN) and an Associate Professor in the Bio-Nano Material Science and Engineering program in the Department of Industrial Systems Engineering at the Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand). His research primarily focuses on nanomaterial-based solutions for energy harvesting, detection and environmental remediations. His other research interests include nanostructured thin film coatings for industrial applications, nano- and biosensors for environmental and health monitoring, nanocomposite materials, optoelectronic devices and green technology development. In 2022, he joined TriNANO Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (India) as a Research Director that provides Nano Coatings for Solar Panels for better power output & reduces O&M costs, hence advancing the performance ratio. He is also a founding member of two research centres at the Asian Institute of Technology, namely “WellTech Center” working in the area of Health & Well-being and “The Centre for South and South-East Asia Multidisciplinary Research Network on Transforming Societies of Global South (SMARTS).” He has 10+ years of experience in teaching and research supervision, and his research is mainly funded by industries from the region, Government funding agencies and international organizations.

For more information, contact:
Souryabrata Mohapatra, PhD (Auckland)

  • Event Date

    29 May 2024
  • Event Type

  • Event Mode