Monitoring of Microplastics in the Marine Environment

Changing Directions towards Quality Controlled Tailored Solutions

image of Monitoring of Microplastics in the Marine Environment

The need for harmonized monitoring protocols for marine microplastic has been discussed for many years, but how to reach this goal has not been agreed upon. Important questions addressed when microplastics are monitored are: how to carry out field sampling, how to eliminate other particulate matter from a sample without harming the microplastics, and how to accurately identify the particles, while also preventing and assessing potential sample contamination at each step from sampling to analyses. In the project HARMIC, Nordic scientist with long term experience in microplastic research, applied and evaluated different methods for sampling and sample preparation relevant for the establishment of common guidelines. The outcomes of the studies are discussed from a monitoring perspective, including aspects of quality assurance and quality control.




The ubiquitous occurrence of microplastics and other synthetic anthropogenic micro-sized particles in the marine environment has over the past decade gained substantial worldwide attention. This has resulted in the development of numerous methods to estimate the amount and type of microplastics present in different marine habitats (Hildago-Ruz et al. 2012; Prata et al. 2019; Renner et al. 2018). The need to design harmonized protocols to be used for monitoring concentrations and polymer composition of marine microplastics has been discussed for many years now, but it has proved to be difficult to agree on how to reach this goal.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error