Finding Microplastic - Read our Executive Chair's blog

7 March 2019

Finding Microplastic...No this isn’t about a model of Pixar’s Nemo, it is about very minute particles of plastic floating around in the world’s waters. 

We all know about the desire to reduce our use plastic from our daily life and reduce the waste on our streets and the demand for landfill that will plague many generations to come. But how about microplastics, how many of us have heard about these? Microplastics, as the name suggests are tiny particles of plastic which come from a whole variety of sources, many of which will surprise us; I guess we wouldn’t be surprised by industrial processes and maybe packaging, but did you know that many cosmetics contain microplastics as do many of those one-use bottles of water and even some of our clothing fabrics.

We are better informed about plastics, their use and their long term impact than ever before, but for those microplastics already out there, a very large proportion will find their way into the planet’s water systems. However, before anything can be done about them they must be found – and bear in mind the name “micro”, these are not big pieces we can see and hold, worse they can find their way into food and other vital systems.

Here at the Norwich Research Park we pride ourselves, not only for ground breaking globally important research, but also on game changing collaboration. So, it should be no surprise that answers have been found by a team led by Dr Andrew Mayes from the UEA’s School of Chemistry working with the Government’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas).

As a result of the work done here in Norwich by Andrew and his team these nasty little bits of plastic can now be “found” and counted, understanding the impact is major step to a different future. Norwich Research Park, Changing Lives & Rethinking Society.

Find out more here 

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