Handover of new SAPEA report to the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors#

On 11th January 2019, Prof Ole Petersen, Academic Director AE Cardiff Hub and Vice President Academia Europaea, handed over a new SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) report to the European Commission Group of Chief Scientific Advisors (GCSA) on behalf of the SAPEA Board. Prof Petersen was representing Prof Sierd Cloetingh, President Academia Europaea and Chair of the SAPEA Board, who attended the expert workshop the previous day.

Handover of the Microplastics report to the GCSA. From left to right: Sabine Pahl and Bart Koelmans, Vice-Chair and Chair of the SAPEA Working Group on Microplastics respectively; Ole Petersen, Vice-President of AE (representing the Chair of SAPEA Board); Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Chair GCSA; Elvira Fortunato, GCSA; and Nicole Grobert, GCSA.

Professor Cloetingh said:

“Our report is extremely timely, given the significant level of interest in this critically-important topic. SAPEA has brought together world-class expertise from across a wide range of disciplines to consider the issues at stake.”

“I look forward to SAPEA’s future collaborations with the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, ensuring that scientific advice is informed by expertise from academies across Europe.”

This new SAPEA evidence review report, entitled A scientific perspective on microplastics in nature and society, has been written by a group of world-leading experts nominated by academies across Europe, including AE, and informs the Scientific Opinion from GCSA.

The report comprehensively examines the best available evidence from the natural sciences and computer modelling, as well as social, political and behavioural sciences. This evidence suggests that microplastics and nanoplastics do not pose a widespread risk to humans or the environment, except in small pockets. But that evidence is limited, and the situation could change if pollution continues at the current rate. Read more.
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