The Center’s expert took part at the scientific conference on microplastics

The Center’s expert Evgeniy Zamyatin took part at the First All-Russian Conference “Microplastics in Polymer Science” held on October 19-21 in Veliky Novgorod.

According to one of the organizers of the conference, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergey Lyulin, the idea of the conference arose during the INC-2 negotiations on the development of the plastic pollution treaty in Paris, as “there is virtually no science involved during the development of the future document, as well as the use of scientific resources and knowledge”.

The conference aimed to share knowledge on the toxicological effects of microplastics, aquatic and terrestrial contamination, sampling techniques, identifying gaps in science and its potential to combat plastic pollution. Most speakers pointed out that microplastics are found in living organisms and the environment all over the Earth, but there is no consensus on the definition of microplastics and nanoplastics. There is also insufficient understanding of how microplastics affect the human body; there is a lack of necessary infrastructure for recycling and disposal of end-of-life plastic products; and there are no agreed ways to determine the content of microplastics in different environments.

During the conference, the organizing committee and participants formed a Declaration on current approaches to plastics and materials containing plastics, taking into account all stages of their life cycle. The Declaration and its promotion in the Russian and foreign scientific communities is intended to strengthen the role of science in the development of a new plastic pollution treaty.

As far as the treaty concerns, participants emphasized the importance to support research and development aimed at obtaining new knowledge about the properties of polymers, their interaction with the environment. Besides, it is important to create a new culture of sustainable plastic consumption that supports reuse, recycling and collection of end-of-life plastic products, etc.