News Marine Litter

26.05.2021

This study, which was published in German in April, is a further development of the BKV model "From Land to Sea". The report reflects the discussion among experts which is now moving away from focusing solely on discharges of plastics into the seas, and calls for a more comprehensive look at the discharges and final whereabouts of plastics in the environment. The report now provides a holistic picture of the discharges and final whereabouts of plastic waste in the aquatic and terrestrial environments. An English version will follow shortly.

25.05.2021

A team from the Geomar Helmholtz Center for ocean research in Kiel carried out a laboratory experiment over a period of 42 weeks in which they subjected juvenile blue mussels to various concentrations of microplastics. The results – recently published in "Science of the Total Environment" – are surprising: According to the authors, the study shows that the mussels are barely affected by microplastics in the water even over a long period of time.

25.05.2021

Microparticles in the southern part of the North Sea stem predominantly from paints and surface coatings of ships' hulls. This was the result of a study from the Institute for Marine Chemistry and Biology of the University of Oldenburg. It claims to be the first study offering an overview of microplastic distribution in the North Sea. The research team led by Dr. Barbara Scholz-Böttcher found above all plastic particles stemming from binders of ships coatings. As a source, they are said to be of similar importance as tire abrasion on land. The results show that significantly more microplastic is produced on the open seas than previously supposed.

25.05.2021

An international team headed by Gerald Schernewski from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde (IOW) has calculated on the basis of existing data and secondary literature how many particles of the most commonly used plastics with a size of between 0.02 and 0.05 mm from urban sources get into the Baltic Sea and how they behave there. In the opinion of the team, the results offer promising approaches for efficient monitoring and also for reduction measures.

25.05.2021

In connection with the concluding conference of the funding priority "Plastics in the Environment", at which several joint projects also dealt with modeling approaches and measuring methods for the analysis of plastic discharges into the soil and wastewater (see our report), we asked an expert on the subject for his appraisal of the results and about the present situation with the standardization of the measuring methods: Dr. Claus Gerhard Bannick is head of the specialist department for wastewater technology research at the German Environment Agency (UBA).

25.05.2021

Over a period of three years, specialists from different disciplines in industry, science and politics have been carrying out research in 20 joint projects within the research program "Plastics in the Environment – Sources, sinks, solutions", funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). On 20 and 21 April, the concluding conference took place online at which, reports the BMBF, many possible approaches in the areas of production, recycling and waste management were discussed. Possible solutions for the trade and for the utilization phase of plastics products and, not least, also for wastewater treatment, were also debated.

25.05.2021

Under the leadership of the Augsburg geographer Prof. Peter Fiener, a research network was launched in March that aimed to examine the pollution of agricultural soil with macro- and microplastics called the "EU Innovative Training Network". With this program, the EU wants to support a new generation of innovative young scientists.

14.12.2020

Hydroelectric power plants make a significant contribution to the removal of plastic waste from inland waters. This is emphasized by the Vereinigung Wasserkraftwerke in Bayern e.V. (VWB, the association of hydroelectric power plants in Bavaria) and...

14.12.2020

The research program "Plastics in the Environment – Sources, Sinks, Solutions" of the Federal German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) consists of 20 joint projects over the period from 2017 to 2022. Models for calculating discharge volumes play an important role in this program. A recently published cross-project synthesis paper provides an overview of the various models, brings together its full area of coverage and shows clearly where gaps still exist – in other words where there is still a lack of model structure and above all a lack of data with which the models can be fed.

14.12.2020

According to calculations from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an estimated 230,000 tons of plastic litter get into the Mediterranean Sea every year from the 33 countries bordering the Mediterranean alone, predominantly via...