Takunda Chitaka is a Chemical Engineering student who has been published in an international scientific journal for her work on plastic pollution.
Cape Town, South Africa – Takunda Chitaka is a Chemical Engineering student doing the fourth year of her PhD studies at the University of Cape Town. Her primary studies focus is on the plastic problem faced on the beaches of the Western Cape.
Chitaka was nominated for a PETCO award for her work on the nature of the plastics found on Cape Town beaches, which was published in an international scientific journal this year. She won the award, and her incredible story was featured on their YouTube channel.
Through her scientific study on plastic, she determined the litter wash-up rates for five beaches and classified 36 000 items by weight into 372 distinct item types across ten material types and 19 functional type categories.
Her studies are dedicated to better understanding the nature of the problem of plastics in our coastal environment, and how solutions based on the principles of life-cycle management could be developed for moving the plastics economy forward.
Chitaka strongly believes through the use of science, corporates, brands and other plastic producers can better address the problems faced within our environments today.
She discussed the base-line for her study and mentioned how the buzz in plastic pollution is plastic bags, but during her research, plastic bags were one of the fewest items found on beaches during the testing.
The paper on her project was published on the Elsevier platform. Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps institutions and professionals progress science, advance healthcare and improve performance.
Take a look at her discussing her academic discovery below.