The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it

Robert Swan

Our Responsibility

We all have a responsibility for protecting our coastal and marine environment, because all of us rely on it for our survival.  If we are to develop our marine resources in a sustainable way that ensures it not only meets our needs, but the needs of future generations, we all have to play a role.

One of the biggest global issues affecting our oceans is microplastics and while much of the focus of attention at the moment is on cleaning the bigger pieces of plastics on our beaches, there are significant gaps in our knowledge about the types of microplastics in our oceans and on our coastlines, as well as its concentration and its distribution.

We Need Your Help

Although there are many scientists out there doing lots of really good research on the microplastic issue, we need more information.  That is where you come in.

The Big Microplastic Survey will be a global citizen science project that will gather data and information about the microplastics problem from around the world.  It is aimed at individuals and organisations that have access to the coast, rivers and lakes and want to get involved in gathering scientific data.  We conducted our first citizen science survey at the entrance to Chichester Harbour on the south coast of the United Kingdom in March 2018.

Find out more about the Chichester Harbour Survey
undertaking a survey

Whats Involved?

We have designed the methodology for The Big Microplastic Survey to make it as easy as possible for you to be involved.  Most of the items that you need to undertake a scientific microplastic survey you can find around the household, or are available at a minimal cost.

Find Out Whats Involved

We currently have a downloadable resource pack that will provide you with details about how to conduct your survey, analyse and record what you find and submit the results.  However, as funds become available we will be digitising the process to make it even easier for you.

I’m in, what now?

If you want to participate in The Big Microplastic Survey research project the process is relatively simple.  First of all go to the registration page to register your interest.  We will then send you a link to the resource pack.  You can then assemble your DIY survey kit and find a beach or shoreline to survey.  Next, get your team together and undertake the survey.  Finally send the results to us.

The data that you collect will provide us with important information that will be analysed through a variety of  undergraduate and post graduate research projects and be available for others organisations such as governments, NGOs and academic institutions, to use.

Teaching small children about microplastics