Cross-Cutting Topic 3

Jürgen Bertling
(Fraunhofer UMSICHT; PlastikBudget)

Contacts PlastikNet
Doris Knoblauch
(Ecologic Institute)
Linda Mederake
(Ecologic Institute)

Cross-Cutting Topic 3: Terms and Definitions


  • to clarify terms and definitions with relevance for the research focus "plastics in the environment".
  • to create a glossary in order to achieve a consistent use of language within the research focus as well as in external communication.
  • to introduce the results into further discourses as well as possible standardisation and legislative activities

Status of work

The glossary for the research focus is currently being compiled. The glossary does not contain any “new” definitions of the research focus itself, but rather compiles relevant terms, explains them and puts them into context. In addition to plastic-specific terms, the glossary will contain terms such as sewage sludge or soil that are important in the research focus.

The glossary also points out which terms should not be used because they are either ambiguous or controversial in science. The main text of the glossary provides a systematic introduction to the problem area "plastics in the environment". In addition, the appendix will contain a comprehensive list of all relevant definitions.


Based on the glossary, a handbook on the use of terms in public relations (for scientists and journalists) will be developed. It is planned to organise a workshop on media relations for joint research projects, which will provide suggestions for a problem-adequate use of terms.




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