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The North Atlantic Microplastic Centre (NAMC) is opened

40 researchers from around the globe are already connected to the centre, which was made possible thanks to Start-up funding from the Sparebanken Vest Foundation. The aims are to increase competence levels and gain a better understanding of the quantities and risks of microplastics.

Sveinung Rotevatn, the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment said during the opening, “Nanoplastics and microplastics are a rapidly increasing threat to our world. The work NAMC will be doing will have a major impact at the highest political level."

Rotevatn informed about the work which will lead up to an international agreement in 2022 regarding the dangers from nano- and microplastic pollution.

Microplastics are everywhere

Invisible microplastics are everywhere - in the air you breathe, the water you drink and in the food you eat. Microplastics are a growing problem, but we still do not know much about the environmental levels (amounts) and the consequences of exposure.

Our oceans, coast and possibly human health are threatened by plastic waste. Global plastic production in 2018 was as much as 359 million tonnes, and it is estimated that around 8-12 million tonnes end up in the sea every year. If nothing is done, a doubling is expected within the next 20 years.

"In a future with increased microplastics levels, we will face a growing demand for documentation from consumers, food manufacturers and importers. With this research centre, we will work on developing methods and competence, to lay the foundations for safe and secure knowledge", says the Head of the centre, Marte Haave, ecotoxicologist and senior researcher at NORCE.

NAMC aims to engage leading researchers nationally and internationally in a joint effort to understand and quantify how much microplastics is in the environment the risks related to microplastic pollution in our surroundings and the best ways to manage the challenge. This centre will provide cutting-edge international environmental research.

To visit the webpage for NAMC