The European Litter Prevention Association

Meet our experts: Dr Chiarina Darrah

5 September 2016

Dr Chiarina Darrah of Eunomia Research & Consulting is one of the key experts supporting the Clean Europe Network’s pre-pilot work on the toolkit for monitoring how litter enters waterways. Chiarina is supporting the pre-pilot groups, comprising staff from municipalities, waste companies and beyond, to work through the toolkit and recommending ways in which it can be improved before it is rolled out more widely.

With expertise in the evaluation and development of policies, Chiarina has a background in biology and holds a PhD in Plant Sciences from the University of Oxford. She became involved in Clean Europe Network’s workstream on litter and the aquatic environment in 2014, with a feasibility study into methods for monitoring sources and pathways of litter to waterways. Her research shows a broad perspective on this difficult environmental issue. It covers both land-based and marine litter, and she has co-authored reviews covering the evidence on amounts, types, sources, pathways and impacts of litter – as well as abatement measures.

That reflects Eunomia’s growing portfolio of litter related projects, and the increasing prominence of the topic on the environmental agenda. Recent work by Eunomia includes:

  • Studying the mitigation of marine debris from sea-based sources and primary microplastics for the European Commission’s DG Environment, for whom Eunomia also managed a project to monitor riverine litter.
  • Exploring the direct cost of cleaning up litter – and assessing its wider, hidden, costs.
  • Investigating the impact of marine litter on migratory species for the United Nations Environment Programme’s Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP-CMS).
  • Analysis of community-based approaches to litter prevention.

Asked about her work with Clean Europe Network, Chiarina said “It’s really pleasing to see the work we did in our feasibility study being taken forward, and to be a part of this important next step in understanding the problem and acting on it. Litter is an incredibly varied topic, and it’s important we act holistically, with citizens, businesses and government all contributing to keeping the emission of litter in check.”