Healthy Seas Initiative

A journey from waste to wear

Kickoff lecture for Studium Generale

Recycling ocean waste into clothing will be the interesting focus of this semester’s kickoff lecture in Studium Generale. Johan Kieft, who represents the Netherlands-based European Center for Nature Conservation in Germany, will hold his lecture on Wednesday, 21 October at 6pm in Building 1, 2nd floor, room 105 on the Kamp-Lintfort Campus (Friedrich-Heinrich-Allee 25, 47475 Kamp-Lintfort). The lecture will be held in English and is free to attend for all.  

Kleve/Kamp-Lintfort, 16 October 2015: The vast swathes of rubbish in the world’s oceans present a global problem with no single solution. This waste has many sources, from everyday plastics to old, discarded fishing nets. Fishing nets, in fact, make up an estimated 640,000 tonnes of waste annually, or around a tenth of all ocean pollution combined. The Healthy Seas Initiative saw this as a unique opportunity to not only remove tonnes of waste, but also to recycle it into something useful: thread. This recycled thread is then used to produce a wide range of clothing, including bathing suits, underwear and socks. This process – taking a previously useless material and creating something useful from it – is also called ‘up-cycling’, and is rather common phenomenon in developing countries. It’s also gaining ground in industrial nations as more and more people rediscover the idea of getting the most out of each resource and product.  

Through their efforts, the Healthy Seas Initiative also acts as an interface between many different partners in the fight to save the environment. Fisherfolk, divers, non-governmental organisations, governments and private enterprises come together under the Health Seas Initiative and work towards a singular goal: cleaning up the ocean and protecting the fragile habitats of marine life. At the same time, this alliance of partners is also making important contributions to environmental sustainability and commerce, creating jobs and meeting new market demands, for example. In the kickoff Studium Generale lecture for the winter semester 2015-16, Johan Kieft, representing the Netherlands-based European Center for Nature Conservation in Germany, will speak about the Healthy Seas Initiative and reveal the process behind up-cycling rubbish. The lecture will be held in English.

Studium Generale is a regular lecture series organised and hosted by Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences. Studium Generale lectures look at a variety of contemporary issues and present information in an approachable and understandable way. Dr Heide Naderer, President of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, extends a warm invitation to attend this semester’s programme: “People of all ages are encouraged to come and take part in our exciting Studium Generale lectures. Take the opportunity to learn more about interesting topics and see our campuses from a different vantage point.”

Studium Generale lectures are open to students, staff and the general public. There is no fee to attend and registration is not required.