French-American Research Cohort on Plastic Pollution

Together with the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the GDR (Groupement de Recherche) Polymers and Oceans of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), GCSE runs a French-American Research Cohort on Plastic Pollution. The Cohort responds to the increasing political and public awareness of the negative environmental and health impacts of micro- and nanoplastics, which are omnipresent in our environment. 

Due to their physical and chemical characteristics, microplastics (tiny particles under 5 mm in length) and nanoplastics (plastic fragments in the <100 nm size range) constitute a particular challenge as they are present across air, soil and sediment, freshwaters, seas and oceans, plants and animals, and in the global food system thereby also affecting human health. While the scientific knowledge on these pervasive contaminants is increasing, important uncertainties prevail. There is a compelling need for sharing research results across national borders and pursuing joint scientific investigations that can shape national strategies to curb plastic pollution.

The Cohort aims to identify and fill remaining knowledge gaps, and to produce actionable scientific knowledge to provide decision-makers with information that can inform, and potentially mitigate, the challenges of micro- and nanoplastics. The Cohort will mobilize the deep expertise of the GCSE community and the CNRS/GDR Polymers and Oceans network of 45 French laboratories. In addition, the Cohort will engage other research institutions government agencies, industry, and other key stakeholders.


Explore the 2022 International Summit on Plastic Pollution co-hosted by the Global Council for Science and Environment (GCSE), the Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States, and Long Island University. 

Contact Liz Nelson, GCSE Program Manager, at if you are interested in getting involved.