International Research Workshop on the Occurrence, Effects, and Fate of Microplastic Marine Debris
September 9-10, 2008; Tacoma, WA
Over the last year, public interest in marine plastics has increased due to media coverage of the greater issue of marine pollution. This increased attention to small plastic debris has highlighted the limited information on the amount, location, and environmental impacts of small plastics. In order to address the specific research issue of microplastics in the marine environment, the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT) coordinated this meeting bringing together scientific experts from around the world with expertise in the varied topics of microplastic occurrence and movement in the oceans, direct effects of microplastics on marine organisms, interactions of persistent organic pollutants with plastics and the potential for plastics to adsorb and desorb these pollutants in the marine environment and to organisms, and the effect plastics could have on the cycling of persistent organic pollutants.The goals of this workshop were to synthesize what is known about microplastics in the marine environment, and to discuss possible research initiatives to move the science of this field forward while addressing the most critical research gaps.
The workshop was held September 9-10, 2008 on the UWT campus in Tacoma, WA.
Experts from the United States, Australia, Japan, Netherlands and the United Kingdom participated in this first-ever international workshop on the pervasive problem of microplastics in the marine environment.
The workshop focused on the occurrence of plastic debris in the world’s oceans and waterways, the effects of microplastic on the environment, and the effect that microplastic may have on the global cycling of pollutants.
Proceedings of the International Research Workshop on the Occurrence, Effects and Fate of Microplastic Marine Debris are available as a NOAA Technical Memorandum (NOAA-TM-NOS-OR&R-30). The technical memo contains an executive summary that discusses workshop agreements, research gaps, and potential research initiatives to move the science of microplastics forward, and also includes the research presented at the workshop and other various supporting documents.
Abridged proceedings document (1.01 MB)