News Marine Litter

07.09.2022

The "Roundtable on Marine Litter" goes back to an initiative by the Federal Environment Ministry and the German Environment Agency from the year 2016. It was initiated in order to develop and coordinate national measures to combat marine litter and to support their implementation. In a recent briefing paper, the working group on microplastic within the Roundtable on Marine Litter called for a fast reduction in the discharge of microplastic into the North Sea and Baltic Sea and listed 28 measures for cutting down the amount of microplastic that gets into the seas.

07.09.2022

BASF Venture Capital GmbH (BVC), the corporate venture company of the BASF group, has announced a strategic investment in the US company Oceanworks for the development of sustainable solutions. Via its platform, Oceanworks offers not only PCR recyclate but also recyclate from marine litter, the origin of which is said to be traceable back to its origin through digital solutions.

07.09.2022

What are the companies that put plastic packaging into circulation undertaking to resolve the related problems? Does the answer lie in recycling and closed-loop circulation? And how does one recover plastic waste from the seas? These and other questions will be discussed by the participants in the online talk on the platform "Ihre Chemie" with experts from the consumer goods trade, environmental protection and a technology start-up.

07.09.2022

A robot system that is capable or learning, currently being developed by scientists at the Technical University of Munich together with eight European partner institutes as part of the "SeaClear Projects", should in future be able to independently track down, chart and collect plastic waste from the seabed. The first test of a prototype in the Mediterranean Sea off Dubrovnik had been successful, says the research team.

28.03.2022

The quantification of pellet losses in Germany has until now been difficult because of a lack of complete data. Pellet losses can occur during the production, processing and recycling of plastics and also during transport. On the other hand, they are also being collected and disposed of by the companies themselves through cleaning systems and cleaning measures. In a study being carried out on behalf of the BKV, pellet losses are now being documented in more detail, also taking into account recent findings. The results will soon be published as a "Special report on pellet losses".

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28.03.2022

Ecotoxicological studies on the effects of microplastics on human health and the environment have, until now, frequently produced contradictory results. In relevant studies on the health risks due to microplastics, human tissue such as intestinal cells or marine organisms such as crabs and mussels were subjected to various microplastic particle concentrations in order to research the interactions with cell tissue. These microparticles were previously categorised according to the type of plastic, the shape and the size. Their chemical and physical properties were, however, seldom taken into account. An interdisciplinary research team from the University of Bayreuth headed by Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch has now established that the characteristics of the conventional polystyrene that is frequently used in these studies differ significantly depending on the manufacturer, and that it also affects cell tissue differently. Generalised statements on health hazards or ecological risks from microplastics are therefore considered by the scientists to be problematical.

28.03.2022

Coastal inhabitants such as crabs, mussels and barnacles seem to have found a way to survive in the open sea. According to a US study, they settle on plastic waste and, in this way, drift through the ocean. The phenomenon is regarded in marine biology as a paradigm change. Until now, the open sea was regarded as inhabitable for these organisms. A group of scientists from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) observed that the coastal inhabitants not only colonise the plastic waste, but many even flourish on it. How these new high-sea communities affect the eco-systems is to be the subject of further research.

28.03.2022

The metabolising of plastics such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) with the help of enzymes has been a subject of research for many years. Several enzymes – so-called polyester hydrolases – which occur in bacteria and fungi, can degrade PET plastic up to a certain level. Its further development for industrial use has so far been very time-consuming. A working group headed by Dr. Heinz-Georg Jahnke from the University of Leipzig has developed a new measuring method with which plastic-degrading enzymes could be identified and quantified faster than before, thus significantly accelerating the development of such enzymes.

28.03.2022

Since the end of last year, the BKV has had a new managing director, namely Dr. Ingo Sartorius. Prior to this, Sartorius spent more than 25 years at Germany’s association of plastics producers, PlasticsEurope Deutschland, where he headed the “Man and the Environment” division (today: Climate Protection and Circular Economy). In this function, he also dealt with topics such as marine litter and plastics and the environment. In this interview, we ask him about the subject of plastics in the environment and the planned BKV projects dealing with this issue.

28.03.2022

At the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) on 2 March in Nairobi, the representatives of the member states launched a legally binding international agreement against plastic pollution of the environment, for which it received much praise from politicians, environmental protection organisations and industry associations. The World Plastics Council as well as the German associations of the chemical and plastics industry all expressed a positive view of the agreement.