Cross-Cutting Topic 2

Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch
( University of Bayreuth; PLAWES)
PD Dr. Katrin Wendt-Potthoff
( Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ; MikroPlaTaS)

Contacts PlastikNet
Ulf Stein
(Ecologic Institute)
Hannes Schritt
(Ecologic Institute)

Cross-Cutting Topic 2: Evaluation Methods of Possible Effects of Plastics on the Environment (incl. toxicity)


  • bringing together topic-related results from the joint research projects of the research focus and other projects with similar research interests
  • discussion and coordination of possible evaluation methods
  • coordination of common positions and products to inform the public about the effects of plastics on the environment.

Status of work

Two workshops were held on internal networking and the coordination of objectives and common approaches. External BMBF-funded projects (Ephemare, MiWa, PlastX, MiPAq) participated in parts of the workshops. During the workshops three joint publications were worked on:

  1. a joint scientific multi-author article (Opinion Paper) to sharpen public awareness of the toxicological hazards of microplastics. The article is intended to help demythify potential harmful effects of (micro)plastics on living organisms.
  2. a guideline for ecotoxicological experiments with microplastics based on the experiences of the participating joint research projects and published studies.
  3. additional sections for the discussion paper with contributions regarding the analysis of biota and food

As part of the webinar series, a webinar on ecotoxicology was held on 16 February 2023. The infographic "are microplastics harmful" was presented and illustrated with research results from the research focus.

Fluorescent plastic particles in a water flea ©Hannes Imhof/ Christian Laforsch


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