PAN-microplast is a network that promotes, facilitates, and encourages lateral collaboration and research efforts on plastic pollution in Africa. The network provides a platform not only to celebrate research achievements across Africa, but also enables discussions surrounding the challenges faced by scholars and practitioners working in plastic pollution, from the macro to nano-scale. However, we recognise the technical challenges facing researchers who are tasked with detecting smaller size fractions (<0.5 mm), especially as accessibility and affordability of equipment needed to accurately quantify the smaller plastic particles is a limiting factor in Africa.
The primary aim of PAN-microplast is to facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange across Africa within the field of plastic pollution.
We believe this is done by:
- Encouraging collaboration among researchers in Africa, both nationally, regionally and across the continent.
- Supporting and disseminating plastic research in Africa.
- Seeking external collaboration on plastic research, especially in the realm of micro- and nanoplastic contamination as analytical equipment needed for polymer identification is not accessible in many parts of Africa.
- Supporting the current and next generation of African researchers by providing training and capacity building through a range of tools and platforms.
- Providing a platform for the bidirectional exchange of expertise between African researchers and non-African partners.
- Advising policy makers on actions necessary to mitigate plastic pollution on the continent through evidence-based research.