The international symposium on marine microplastics (“Sendai Symposium on Marine Microplastics”) was held at Aobayama Campus, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University on February 17, 2020. It was supported by Global Engineer Nurturing Program, National Institute of Technology. The co-organizers were Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University and Biosys Inc..

 This symposium was initiated by the request from University of Malaysia, Terengganu (UMT) for research collaboration on solving the current issues of marine microplastics in Malaysia when Sendai KOSEN and UMT signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in February 2019.

 Four researchers from UMT, Dr. Yusof Shuaib Ibrahim, Dr. Tuan Nurul Sabiqah Tuan Anuar, Dr. Shumpei Iehata and Dr. Hanis Mohd Yusoff, introduced the current situation of marine microplastics in Malaysia and the first evidence that the microplastics exist in living human bodies.Mr. Yoshinobu Matutani, Managing Director of Maruhon Co. in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, introduced a new method of undersea prospecting using a satellite and their cleaning work in the sea.After the break, Prof. Olaf Karthaus from Chitose Institute of Science and Technology gave a special lecture on degradation mechanisms of microplastics, and adsorption of harmful chemicals and bacteria. Prof. Jun Sonoda, Sendai KOSEN, introduced the latest method of marine plastic detection in sand hills and undersea using AI and remote sensing techniques. Mr. Kiyoshi Wada, Shimadzu Co., introduced analysis trends of microplastics and their latest cases.Finally, Prof. Toshiaki Yoshioka, Graduated School of Environment Studies, Tohoku University, gave a special lecture on integration of arterial and venous industries and promotion of plastic recycling.

 We had a valuable discussion from different aspects of marine microplastics after the lectures.

 24 Sendai KOSEN students attended the symposium with their supervisor of Material Science for Environmental Course and listened to each lecture enthusiastically.

 The symposium, which was deeply concerned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), had total 60 participants, including Emeritus Professor Kimio Hanawa (Geophysics) and students from Tohoku University. We appreciated all the speakers and attendees of this symposium.

Prof. Sonoda’s lecture Prof. Yoshioka’s lecture 
Mr. Matutani’s lecture Gathering photo after the symposium