Maritime Forum

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Initial Statement by the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors A Scientific Perspective on Microplastic Pollution and its Impacts

Published on: Fri, 27/07/2018 - 07:10
Table of Contents
    will deliver explanatory note by the end of 2018
    Microplastics in sediments from the rivers Elbe (A), Mosel (B), Neckar (C), and Rhine (D). Note the diverse shapes (filaments, fragments, and spheres) and that not all items are microplastics (e.g., aluminum foil (C) and glass spheres and sand (D), white arrowheads). The white bars represent 1 mm.Martin Wagner et al. - Wagner et al.: Microplastics in freshwater ecosystems: what we know and what we need to know. In: Environmental Sciences Europe. 26, 2014, doi:10.1186/s12302-014-0012-7

    In light of the above, it will be useful to provide the Commission by the end of 2018 with an Explanatory Note which captures the different facets of the complexity of microplastics. This Explanatory Note, based  on  a  planned  evidence  review  report  by SAPEA giving a state-of-the-art synthesis of relevant published scientific evidence and findings, will be presented in a way to promote a more informed public and policy debate.

    The proposed components of the Explanatory Note are:

    1. A rapid evidence review, map and summary of the many existing natural sciences reviews andboverview reports10 covering exposure, (eco)toxicology,  environmental  and  human health risks and incorporating recent primary literature not covered by existing reviews
    2. A  digest  and  analysis  of  the  social  and behavioural sciences covering issues such as risk perception11 by citizens, the behaviour of stakeholders, the political economy and psychology of the microplastic debate, public good, and opportunity cost policy considerations
    3. A political and legal sciences analysis of the different national and international legislative/ regulatory/ policy frameworks of relevance – including substance-focused (REACH, drinking water,…) and ecosystem-focused (water framework directive, marine strategy framework directive, …) measures
    4. An assessment of relevant modelling approaches and of their potential to shed light on some of the more complex aspects of microplastics including future “what if?” and “under which conditions?” scenarios.

    Following on from the Explanatory Note, we would aim to publish a series of recommendations in the form of a Scientific Opinion in spring 2019.


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