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Last October, in France, Sophie Bernard, Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical and Industrial Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal, CIRANO Researcher and Fellow, participated in the G7 Research Workshop "Plastics in the Environment". She was there with the Canadian delegation led by Chief Scientist Dr. Mona Nemer. She was a member of the scientific committee on socio-ecological issues.
The workshop brought together about forty researchers from the 7 countries and the European Union around two themes: "Socioecological challenges" and "Biomonitoring issues". The objective was to share scientific expertise in order to better advise public policies in the field of assessing micro-plastics pollution and its origins.
The conclusions were presented to the official G7 delegations. Participants agreed on the need to harmonize protocols for measuring contamination in running and marine waters and to develop protocols for assessing the toxicity of plastic debris. They also strongly recommended mobilizing the human and social sciences in the field of behavioural sciences and documenting on a large scale citizens' attitudes towards plastics, their representations of them and their perceptions of the associated risks. The analysis of these data would make it possible to identify societal barriers and levers for action to prevent or reduce risks to health and ecosystems.