Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), Dr. Michel Soto Chalhoub, received a €10,000 grant from a European Union funded project to develop a report for environmentally managing the problem of plastic littering in the Mediterranean. This project is sponsored locally by Lebanon Eco Movement (LEM), and aims to draft a strategy about dealing with solid waste, particularly plastics.
LEM called on eight universities in Lebanon to submit concept documents followed by presentations attended by LEM and observers from the EU. Selection criteria revolved around the ability to provide an approach that would have a high positive impact on communities.
Dr. Chalhoub formed an interdisciplinary team of NDU professors which tackled engineering solutions, public health implications, and economic repercussions. The team included Dr. Christelle Bou-Mitri, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, who provided insight about the public health issues, and Dr. Charbel Bassil, Chairperson of the Department of Economics, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, who addressed the effect of solid waste on tourism among other sectors of Lebanon’s economy.
In providing feedback about the project, Paul Abi-Rached, President of LEM, said: “We were impressed with the combination of strategic breadth and technical depth in approaching such critical problem.”
This current project is one part of a three-year initiative by the European Union on assisting civil society in combating plastic waste in the Mediterranean, with a total budget of €950,000 managed by LEM.
The project will involve a number of NDU graduate students based on their areas of interest in terms of research and practice, and is scheduled to start towards the end of January 2019.