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This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project E3 - "Microplastics in the Australian marine environment". No data outputs are expected for this project. -------------------- A literature review will firstly identify key marine microplastics research and policy development internationally, with a focus on research that is contextual to microplastics in the Australian marine environment From this literature review, an options paper will be developed to explore the most feasible and impactful policy approaches for the Australian context to reduce both intentionally added and not intentionally added microplastics in the marine environment (it would be beneficial to understand the policy options that can address both categories of microplastics because the options are different). These two reports would form the basis of a one day workshop that will draw together policy-makers, researchers and relevant industry peak bodies to discuss and recommend policy and other options to limit the release / impact of microplastics in the environment. A workshop report will be drafted to summarise findings, recommendations, and next steps (including identifying gaps in both science and policy will inform any future work required). The report will provide evidence to underpin the development of national policy aimed at reducing microplastic pollution, including by identifying priority actions to deliver Australia’s 2018 National Waste Policy .
This data describes the characterisation and estimated concentration of marine plastics in waters around Australia from surface net tows. The marine plastics recorded were predominantly small fragments (‘‘microplastics’’) resulting from the breakdown of larger objects made of polyethylene and polypropylene (e.g. packaging and fishing items). This data accompanies the following publication: Reisser J, Shaw J, Wilcox C, Hardesty BD, Proietti M, et al. (2013) Marine Plastic Pollution in Waters around Australia: Characteristics, Concentrations, and Pathways. PLoS ONE 8(11): e80466. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080466