Methods of resolution to reduce the amount of plastic in the environment
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.
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Research network set up
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.
Hydroelectric power plants as waste disposal stations
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...
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"Model-based research on microplastic in the environment"
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.
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Plastic litter in the Mediterranean
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...
When good intentions go bad
A further study as part of the MicBin joint project in the research program "Plastic in the Environment" provides clues as to how misinterpretations in microplastic analysis can arise and how they should be dealt with. According to a freely...
Cooperation on “zero pellet loss” in Europe
As reported elsewhere in this newsletter, further progress has been made in the commitment to combat granule losses. This at least is shown by the progress report relating to the OCS program of PlasticsEurope, the pan-European association of plastics...
Progress with Operation Clean Sweep
In October, the new progress report on Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) was published. This is a program from plastics producers in Europe aimed at avoiding granule losses (pellets, flakes and powders). The program is targeted at all players involved in...
EU threshold value for litter on the beach
In September, the member states of the European Union agreed on a threshold value for marine litter on coasts. The figure that had been initially developed by the Commission is now valid and is below 20 pieces of waste per 100 meters of coastline....
First decade of global cooperation to combat marine litter
In the lead article of Plastics News in October, Stewart Harris from the Chemistry Council in Washington reflects on the cooperation of industry on the subject of marine litter over the past ten years. His list of initiatives and projects begins with...
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