UNDP/GEF YSLME Publishes Training Module for Marine Microplastics Monitoring

Microplastics can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed by organisms through the food chain, and therefore may pose great risks to human and environmental health. Developing a monitoring program and standardizing the monitoring protocols will enable data inter-comparability and a better understanding of the status of microplastics in the ocean and sea.

With support from UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Phase II Project, Dr. Weiwei ZHANG and Dr. Juying WANG from National Marine Environmental Monitoring Centre of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of PR China prepared the Training Module for Marine Microplastics Monitoring as an effort towards the above direction.

The Module contains 7 chapters: Chapter 1 – Introduction, addressing background, purpose, objectives and structure of the Module; Chapter 2 – Definitions and Terminology: providing definitions of common terminology used in existing marine microplastics monitoring; Chapter 3 – Introduce the protocol of microplastic collection in seawaters and sample preparation procedure; Chapter 4 – Provide microplastic collection methods in sediments, beaches and subtidal sediments; Chapter 5 – Present a range of laboratory-based techniques of microplastics detection in biota; Chapter 6 – Introduce microplastics identification technologies; Chapter 7 – Present the necessary quality control and quality assurance.

Based on extensive research and based on the working experience in the field of the author’s team as well as peer review by experts in RO Korea, the Module offers detailed the explanation of justification for and recommendation of the commonly accepted monitoring methods in various areas such as sampling in seawater, sediments, beaches and detection, identification and the quality control in order to integrate a set of more standardized code of conduct for monitoring microplastics in the marine environment.

To get a free downloadable PDF version, you may click “the module”. You may also contact the author Dr. Weiwei Zhang through email wwzhang@nmemc.org.cn or Mr. Yinfeng Guo form the Project Management Office through email yinfengg@unpos.org. We welcome feedback on the pros and cons of the methodologies introduced in the manual for future improvements.