Cross-Cutting Topic 4

Prof. Dr. Ruth Müller
(Technical University of Munich; SubμTrack)
Dr. Thomas Decker
(City of Straubing; VerPlaPoS)

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

Cross-Cutting Topic 4: Social and Political Dimension of Plastics in the Environment


  • to provide room for exchange among scientists with social, economic and political science backgrounds from the joint research projects
  • to identify and capitalize from similar methodological approaches and  thematic complementarities through regular meetings
  • To prevent possible thematic duplication

Status of work

So far, the members of the working group have dealt in particular with the perception of plastics by citizens and consumers as well as with legal and political standardisation, legal measures and self-regulation. With regard to the increased visibility of social science research, the following joint activities are planned:

  • A "White Paper", which expounds the importance of social science research for political decision-making processes. The paper will critically examine the existing role attributions of responsibilities in the public debate. Among other things, it will examine the diversity of regulatory options that exist, while public discussions and reporting have so far been dominated by appeals to consumers.
  • Cooperation with "multipliers" for public dissemination/communication of the subject area and the joint research projects via various channels.
  • Creation of an infographic for the presentation of social, economic and political science research in the research focus.


It is envisaged to work on additional joint publications (special issue or anthology) in the future. The aim is to further anchor the areas of consumption, politics and society with regards to plastics in the scientific community. The cross-cutting topic offers ideal conditions to sustainably expand the social and political dimensions of the subject area "Plastics in the Environment", which have so far received relatively little attention.


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