APEC Workshop on Nanoplastics in Marine Debris

On 14 December 2021, Veena will be participating in the three-day APEC Workshop on Nanoplastics in Marine Debris.

She will join a panel of experts for the session 'Strategies for micro- and nano-plastics mitigation, remediation, and recycling'.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) workshop on 'Nanoplastics in Marine Debris' aims to explore, share and progress micro and nanoplastics implications and mitigation research. 

The workshop will facilitate the sharing of best practices for characterization, understanding fate/transport, exposure, risk assessment, human and ecological health implications, and mitigation and remediation of micro- and nanoplastics in APEC economies.

Policymakers, program managers from research, funding, and regulatory agencies, industry representatives and scientists from APEC economies are invited to come together to participate and learn from each other’s experiences, share information and ideas on ongoing and planned projects, and develop plans for leveraged international efforts to address these global issues across the APEC region.

The workshop will support implementation of the APEC Roadmap on Marine Debris.

The workshop will facilitate the creation of an APEC-wide community of researchers, policymakers, and industry representatives dedicated to improving understanding of, and identifying opportunities for remediating or eliminating, the problems associated with micro- and nanoplastics in marine debris.

Other outcomes will include:

  • Sharing of best practices for identifying, characterizing, assessing risk from, and reducing or remediating nanoscale plastic waste.
  • Leveraging of scientific resources, and sharing in the development of alternate technologies, products, capabilities, and facilities. Building capacity across APEC economies by sharing existing knowledge in this emerging field.
  • Initiating a draft framework for addressing short- and long-term issues associated with micro- and nanoplastics in the environment.

Event page


Further event background:


This workshop will promote communication and cooperation among policymakers and scientists from across the APEC region in addressing the emerging challenges of micro- and nano plastics. Across the APEC region this will avoid redundant efforts and accelerate the development of this critical area of marine debris science for the benefit of the entire APEC community.

The workshop aims to share leading research in nanoplastics by bringing together experts in the field from across the globe. 

Marine debris has significant deleterious effects to the region’s economic growth, as demonstrated by the recent “Update of 2009 APEC Report on Economic Costs of Marine Debris to APEC Economics”. The workshop organisation fulfills the following funding priorities of the APEC ASF General Fund:

  • Safeguarding the quality of life through environmentally sound growth
  • Promoting the development of knowledge-based economies by enabling improved understanding of nanoplastics, which is vital to the health and well-being of APEC economies. 

The workshop supports core work of the APEC Ocean and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG), Virtual Working Group on Marine Debris, and other relevant fora. The aim is to co-ordinate and accelerate efforts to effectively address nanoplastic debris by enabling better understanding of the amounts, distribution, and frequency of marine debris occurrence.

This workshop will take a multi-stakeholder approach with invited attendees including government officials, civil society, private sector, academia, international organizations, and others in identifying opportunities for international cooperation in nanoplastics mitigation.


The workshop is being held all-virtually with a series of video, interactive sessions, and community development elements.

Sessions will explore best practices, research methods, and ideas including conversation and interaction among scientists and policymakers across the APEC region. This will build scientific expertise and capacity to advance the science and develop local solutions to this emerging global problem for the benefit of the entire region.

This workshop will initiate a process for developing a vision and long-term strategy for the region with respect to nanoplastics, including discussion of ideas for reducing plastic debris. We envision collaborations ensuing across the APEC economies that will result in scientific exchanges and the development of novel ideas and strategies for better understanding and mitigating or minimizing nanoplastics pollution.

The workshop and outcomes will build the capacity of APEC economies and improve the economic and social well-being of populations. APEC policy makers and civil society entities will be equipped to effectively communicate among nanoplastic regulators, researchers, and policy makers.

The grass roots movement in many APEC economies to minimize plastic waste is already creating biofriendly and biodegradable materials as alternatives to single-use plastics used in products such as plastic bags and cups. This will limit the amount of plastic waste and directly result in minimizing nanoplastic generation. Through this workshop, the APEC economy representatives will learn about each other’s experiences and measures being taken towards producing alternatives to single-use plastics. This includes industry led research on biodegradation pathways to produce new materials that do not degrade to nanoplastics. 

These factors together mean APEC has a strong interest and opportunity to lead the world in research and innovation to reverse and prevent this environmental and public health problem.