The most recent figures on microplastics found in surface water in Scotland's marine regions. Ideally, this would be an update on the data in the attached report which was published in April 2021.
The report referred to in the original request can be found here.
As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
A copy of all of the information you requested is attached in a .csv format file.
For explanation of the data:
Columns AC to AJ are the number of various microplastics (< 5mm) at each site.
Columns M to T are these numbers converted to number per km2.
Columns U to AB are converted to m3.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the data analysed and presented in the same format as the report you have referenced. Therefore we are refusing part of your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because there are no plans at this time to incorporate the data into a report similar to the one you have referenced. Once more data has been collected, processed and analysed it may be published on the Marine Scotland website but we do not have a timescale for this. However, we are releasing all the data that Marine Scotland holds at this time for such a report.
This exception is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about microplastics found in the surface water in Scotland’s marine regions, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
- File type
- CSV file
- File size
- 18.0 kB
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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