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New editions of our popular research manuals

Research is awash with different methods and approaches to identify and quantify plastic pollution. To effectively monitor plastic pollution and its impact on Africa’s environments calls for the harmonisation of methodologies and protocols.

Using harmonised methods ultimately promotes better comparison of results and data sharing between organisations and regions – in the process broadening the impact of the work done.

In light of this, SST has released new editions of two of our widely used manuals to assist researchers and citizen scientists with data collection and sample preparation. Both these manuals are now freely available on our website.

The first revision features an additional chapter to the Sample Preparation Manual (which was released in 2022). The objective of this chapter is to provide guidance for researchers and scientists on the methods for sampling and processing sediment to be analysed for plastic-related pollutants. Prepared by SST’s research team in collaboration with Dr Brent Newman from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the manual includes easy to follow steps and user-friendly images.

Towards the end of last year, SST also released the second edition of the African Marine Litter Monitoring Manual. Sponsored by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this manual incorporates new chapters on topics such as litter monitoring on land and different methods for monitoring litter in rivers.

Other chapters from the previous edition released in 2020 have also been revised. For example, litter monitoring in mangroves has been improved after considering feedback from researchers across Africa who tested their methods in the field and have hands-on experience with what works in an African setting. The new manual also uses diagrams, graphics, and other images to lend greater clarity to the content and methods.

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