On 8 February 2022, UNU-IAS hosted the Seventh Youth Environmental Activity Presentation National Contest, aiming to empower youth from across Japan to lead the way towards a sustainable society, and encourage youth action to achieve the SDGs at the local and global levels. The online event was co-organised with the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, and the Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency, Japan.
The UNU-IAS Director’s Award was presented to Ehime University Senior High School. The winning presentation addressed the challenge of reducing microplastics pollution in marine ecosystems by utilising marine bacteria to produce biodegradable plastics. Students isolated the bacteria and investigated optimal cultivation conditions to produce PHB, a material used in biodegradable plastics. They also demonstrated the unsustainability of non-biodegradable biobased plastics. The students' initiative was highly praised as a contribution to solving the global problem of plastic pollution.
For more details, please visit the contest website.