Closing date: 16:00 on 4 April 2018
NERC invites applications to join a scoping group that will develop the science case for a potential large strategic research programme on Earth system plastics.
The overarching aim is to provide an understanding of the pathways and fate of plastics in the environment.
Potential research questions include:
- What is the nature and scale of plastic sources to the Earth system?
- What are the main pathways of plastics across the Earth system? What are the potential stocks and flows of plastic between terrestrial, freshwater and marine systems? What are the key physical, chemical and ecological mechanisms that control fate, behaviour, concentration, decomposition, distribution, and transport over various time scales?
- Across their entire life-cycle, how are different types of plastics modified physically, chemically and biologically? What environmental processes promote their degradation or fragmentation? At what point, if any, do plastics no longer interact with the environment and cease to present a risk to the biosphere?
- At which points in the cycle might interventions be effective, and which interventions are most appropriate? How can science and industry collaborate to deliver some of these interventions? What is the environmental impact of plastic alternatives?
The SPA will support research on pathways and fate of a range of plastic types, shapes and sizes to gain a comprehensive picture of the behaviour of plastics in the environment to ensure that effective interventions are developed.
Applications are invited from individuals wishing to join the scoping group that will develop the science case for consideration by NERC.
Please click here for further details on the background, details of the scoping group meeting, and how to apply via their online registration form by 16:00 4 April 2018.