Policy News

EPA Releases ‘A Trash Free Waters Report on Priority Microplastics Research Needs’

EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, Watersheds (OWOW), is pleased to announce the release of the report, A Trash Free Waters Report on Priority Microplastics Research Needs: Update to the 2017 Microplastics Expert Workshop (EPA-842-R-21-005).

 This report is intended to assist the scientific research and funding communities in identifying information gaps and emerging areas of interest within microplastics research. Ultimately, the document’s objective is to spur action toward solutions that reduce and prevent microplastics and nanoplastics at their source.

As part of its national program to prevent trash from entering waterways, OWOW’s Trash Free Waters Program’s December 2021 report builds upon its June 2017 workshop, which convened experts to identify and prioritize the scientific information needed to understand the risks posed by microplastics. The December report was developed based on discussions with 11 Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and a targeted review of the literature published from 2017-2021 to update the previous workshop findings and identify information gaps and emerging areas of interest within microplastics research. An update is provided on the state of the science in each of the four categories addressed in the 2017 workshop: field and analytical methods; sources, transport, and fate; ecological assessments; and human health assessments. The report also identifies major conferences and journals highlighting microplastics and nanoplastics research. 

The entire report is available here.

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