Introducing EUROqCHARM - A H2020 CSA focused on assuring reproducible, harmonised and quality controlled assessments of plastic pollution

, Lusher Amy, Van Bavel Bert.

Plastic pollution (macro to nano) has become a global environmental and societal concern. Numerous protocols have been developed to monitor plastic debris, but these are rarely comparable. This has hindered gathering of knowledge regarding pollution sources, development of monitoring programmes, risk assessments and the implementation of mitigation measures. To develop long-term solutions to reduce plastic pollution, it is essential to establish harmonised methodologies. EUROqCHARM, a recently funded H2020 project, will address this by critically reviewing state-of-the-art analytical methods and validate them through an interlaboratory comparison (ILC) study. The EUROqCHARM consortium consists of 15 partners, a scientific advisory board composed of international experts and a network of more than 25 associated laboratories. This presentation will introduce the project and it's aims for the next three years. EUROqCHARM recognises that harmonisation for large scale monitoring requires flexibility, comparability and reliability. As this is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA), our aim is to provide a cross-Europe and international platform validate several methods for monitoring plastic in the environment and put forward recommendations and standards for monitoring. In more detail, this project aims to identify, test and optimise monitoring approaches through quality assured and rigorously validated methods based on current state-of-the-art techniques which cover all relevant environmental matrices. It will focus on harmonizing and possibly standardisation of methods and reporting formats to facilitate data comparability and meta-level analysis on regional, national and international scales. By including multiple national and international organisations and working groups currently participating in the proposal of harmonisation and standardized methods for research and monitoring, a coordinated and strategic action to bring these key players together, merge working group ideas and facilitate a framework for urgently required procedures for monitoring and assessment of plastics in our environment. This presentation is given by the coordination team on behalf of EUROqCHARM partners.

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