Addressing the Challenges of Microfibres Event in April 2020

Posted on Posted on 24 Feb 2020

Knowledge Transfer Network, UK Microplastics Network & UKCPN to host event on microfibres at National Oceanography Centre in Southampton

On Thursday 16th April 2020, the Knowledge Transfer Network, the UK Mircoplastics Network and UKCPN will host an event at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, titled ‘Addressing the Challenges of Microfibres – from source of production to environmental contamination.’


Microfibres are an issue of growing concern given their ubiquitous and persistent nature. Synthetic fibres and filaments often make the most durable and technical materials, and as such are widely manufactured and used for a variety of purposes. However, these materials shed fibres throughout their lifetime which can become easily and widely dispersed. The majority of focus on microfibres to date has considered synthetic microfibres from polymeric (plastic-based) textiles. However, it is increasingly recognised that a wide range of anthropogenic fibres including modified cellulose and dyed natural textiles such as cotton are also widespread throughout the environment, with unknown consequences for human and animal health. Due to their common manufacture, different characteristics and multitude of applications, microfibres pose a huge multidisciplinary challenge with respect to preventing or reducing their release and understanding any associated hazards they may pose.


This workshop will bring together the key players working to address the microfibre issue across industry, academia and policy to discuss the current research, challenges and solutions. The workshop will combine presentations and discussion sessions to discuss solutions and collaborative approaches to progress this field.



Dr. Imogen Napper, University of Plymouth. ‘Plastic Microfibres: The Journey from Washing Our Clothes to the Ocean’

Dr. Miranda Prendergast-Miller, Northumbria University. ‘Microfibres in soil: effects on earthworms and their potential toxicity’

Dr. Richard Blackburn, University of Leeds. ‘Synthetic vs. Natural microfibres – which should we be worried about?’

Dr. Denise M. Mitrano, Eawag – Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. ‘Reducing Microplastic Fiber Emissions to Waterways: From Textiles to Water Treatment Technologies’

Dr. Neil Lant, Procter & Gamble. ‘Laundry microfibre research: identifying near-term improvements en-route to a longer-term solution’

Sophie Mather, The Microfibre Consortium. ‘Fibre Fragmentation: Facilitating cross industry action to impact product change’


You can view the full agenda with speaker profiles here.


Register for the event here.

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