FT-IR as a ‘Hub’ Technique for Environmental Forensics and Engagement in Science

In recent years, given the growing recognition of the scale of the problem of plastics pollution, the application of FT-IR as a versatile analytical technique has increasingly played a central role in the investigative work of the Greenpeace Research Laboratories, enabling deeper forensic analyses of microplastics in both a diverse range of environmental matrices and waste streams as well as better polymer characterization in consumer goods.

This presentation provides an illustration of the ways in which FT-IR instruments are used in laboratories, and for enhancing engagement with the public and decision-makers, using examples of projects that have documented microplastics in rivers and their transfer through freshwater food webs, the complexity of marine microplastics as carriers of chemical burdens and some of the implications of the international trade in waste plastics for recycling and disposal. Also learn the central importance of measures taken for quality assurance and control.

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