This week marks the addition of the UK Microplastics Network to the UKCPN website.
The UK Microplastics Network has joined with UKCPN to enable greater benefits for members of both networks with respect to access to resources, information and networking opportunities. Given the increasing recognition that the plastics issue must be targeted at all scales and across all parts of the supply and demand chain, it is a therefore a rational evolution for the UK Microplastics Network to become hosted within the UK Circular Plastics Network.
The UK Microplastics Network was established in 2017 with funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), in response to the growing need for wider stakeholder understanding and involvement in the field of microplastics research. The original UK Microplastics Network website can be accessed here.
The UK Microplastics Network is an inclusive interdisciplinary network for any individual or organisation with an interest relevant to microplastics. Microplastics are defined as solid plastic particles less than 5mm in size. In recent years, microplastics have become recognised as a widespread and pervasive environmental pollutant, present globally within water, soil and the air. While microplastics may have unintended consequences if they end up within the environment, microplastics, and the larger plastics that can form them, have myriad useful and often essential applications. It is therefore crucial to ensure that society can continue to reap the benefits of these materials, while limiting any negative consequences. This requires having sufficient knowledge to inform our future actions, and the capabilities to act on this knowledge. The UK Microplastics Network aims to link those who are approaching this issue from multiple angles, including academia, government, industry, charities, consultancies and more.
The aims of the network for stakeholders are:
- Facilitate communication between researchers and stakeholders
- Identify diverse relevant skills, facilities and funding sources which can assist in development of microplastics research
- Develop strategies for tackling the issue through collaborative working
- Economic benefits to businesses and organisations who can gain advice and plan for future legislation that may impact their products and business
- Informing evidence-based decision making on microplastics policy and legislation
Please visit this link to become a member of UKCPN and UK Microplastics Network. Get in touch with Alice Horton if you wish to find out more about the network. You can also keep up with microplastic-relevant updates by following the Twitter page: @UK_Microplastic
Keep an eye on the UKCPN website for announcements of upcoming events between the UK Circular Plastics Network and the UK Microplastics Network in due course.
You can find out more information on the UK Microplastics Network here.