Date lodged: 13 March 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what monitoring or analysis it carries out of microplastic pollution (a) in rivers and (b) at beaches.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 22 March 2018
(a) The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for water quality monitoring in rivers. It does not currently monitor for microplastics but is engaged with academic researchers looking into improving understanding of this problem.
(b) Scottish Government agencies do not monitor microplastic pollution at beaches. Marine Scotland monitors microplastics in the water column, in sub-tidal marine sediment and also on the sea surface which can wash onto beaches. Marine Scotland is part of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland, and is working with another member, Heriot-Watt University, to consider the development of beach sediment monitoring methodologies.