Ocean Plastics Lab returns to Brussels to tackle ocean pollution

Ocean Plastics Lab returns to Brussels to tackle ocean pollution

From 19 to 30 September 2019 KANAL — Centre Pompidou

The Ocean Plastics Lab is back in Brussels from 19 to 30 September 2019, in the framework of the Research and Innovation (R&I) Days organised by the European Commission, following a world tour which led it to Turin, Paris, Brussels, Washington D.C., Ottawa, Berlin and Lisbon.

Open to everyone, the Ocean Plastics Lab encourages visitors to reflect on the plastic pollution in our oceans and the impact this has on humans, animals and nature. 

Visitors to the exhibition will gain an insight into current international research on marine pollution by exploring four thematic containers positioned in front of KANAL — Centre Pompidou on the occasion of the European Research and Innovation Days.  The public will have the opportunity to find out what science is doing to understand and reduce plastic waste in our seas and discover how each citizen can contribute to solving this problem.

Every year, between 4.8 and 12.7 billion kilograms of plastic waste are discarded into the world’s oceans, the equivalent of 35 shipping containers every hour. This growing environmental and societal problem impacts on all forms of life: animals, plants, and at the top of the food chain, humans.

Most plastics take hundreds of years to decompose. A big proportion of this plastic waste is made up of food wrappers, fishing materials, bags, bottles and other products that we use every day. Seabirds and fish swallow them by mistake, or get entangled in them, which puts them in danger of dying of hunger or suffocation. Over time, plastic weakens and decomposes into microplastic particles, which are ingested by fish and molluscs, thus entering our food chain.

Background information

Faced with this situation, on Germany’s initiative, the seven biggest industrialised countries (G7) initiated an action plan against marine litter. This plan was then extended to the G20 countries. Within this context, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, with the support of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission and the German Marine Research Consortium, set up the Ocean Plastics Lab to raise awareness about plastic pollution.

The exhibition collects exhibits from research projects including EU funded projects that are on display in four different containers.  Each of the four shipping containers is dedicated to one specific theme.


On display plastic waste collected from remote place underline the gravity of the problem. An interactive installation gives visitors a glimpse into the situation in our planet’s oceans.

Container 2: SEE the waste

Methods used by scientists, as well as the results of their studies, are presented in an interactive manner.

Container 3: DETECT the impact

Designed like a laboratory, it gives visitors the opportunity to discover the scale of the plastic threat to marine life, through interactive exhibitions.

Container 4: BUILD co-solutions

This container provides information about the combat against marine pollution and how to take part. It also explains how to reduce our own personal plastic consumption.

In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to discover how to give new life to used plastics with a visit to the recycling workshop. In just 15 minutes they will be able to create an entirely new object from plastic waste which would make a lovely sustainable gift.

For further information please visit: https://oceanplasticslab.net/

Press contact:

Voice Agency — Inge Van Eycken — inge@voice.be — +32 472 49 36 86

Useful information:

  • Where: KANAL — Centre Pompidou - Quai des Péniches/Akenkaai, 1000 Brussels
  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 19:00 
    Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00
  • Target group: Open to all
  • Free entry.
Contact us
Inge Van Eycken Press officer
Inge Van Eycken Press officer
About Ocean Plastics Lab

Ocean Plastics Lab
Esplanade Solidarność 1980, Brussels