The Role of Psychology in the Global Problem of Plastic Pollution
Sabine Pahl, Professor of Applied Social Psychology, School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, UK;
Sabine is a Social Psychologist who focuses on the human dimension in environmental issues. She investigates perceptions and behaviour change, particularly in the area of protecting marine environments, marine litter and microplastics. Other applied work examines restorative effects of natural environments including the use of natural environments in healthcare and the behavioural dimension of energy efficiency. Sabine has been involved in research projects funded by EPSRC, ESRC, DEFRA, NERC and H2020 amongst others.
She has more than 60 peer-review publications including papers in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, Environment & Behavior and Nature Human Behaviour. She was the vice-chair of a working group on micro- and nanoplastics that prepared an evidence review report for the European Commission’s SAPEA/SAM units, tasked by the EU’s Chief Scientific Advisors (launched in January 2019). She was one of only two behavioural scientists who contributed to the GESAMP Working Group 40 reports on microplastics (2015 and 2016), highlighting the important role of behavioural science in finding solutions for plastic pollution. Within the MARLISCO project she led the evaluation of science-in-society activities regarding marine litter in 14 European countries plus Turkey, summarised in a guide for influencing behaviour.