This study tests the potential of aerial drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles together with a Geographic Information System approach for semi-automatic classification of meso- (1–25 mm) and macrolitter (>25 mm) at four beaches of the southern Baltic Sea.

This comparative test from cross-cutting topic 1 "Analytics and reference materials" classifies different analytical methods for the identification and quantification of microplastics regarding their informative value and to work out the strengths and limitations of the respective methods. The comparative test was intended to provide the pre-requisites for comparing the analytical results of the individual projects within a given framework.

The discussion about plastic waste is anything but new for German municipalities. In fact, as early as the 1980s, numerous German municipalities were experimenting with plastic waste prevention regulations and waste prevention in general. A further impetus for plastic waste prevention was provided in the early 1990s with the discussions on the introduction of a nationwide packaging ordinance.

Numerous one- to two-person households, an increase in mail-order business as well as the popular "to-go" culture are causing a steady rise in the consumption of plastic packaging in Germany. While approximately 1.8 million tons of plastic were produced per year in 2000, this figure had already risen to 3.1 million tons by 2016.

The paper shows that well meant is not always well done. It deals with the question of blank value entries and how "one" should handle them. It shows that disposable gloves can be a source of false positive PE findings, as they can be coated with sterates, for example, which can be confused with PE by all analytical methods (pyr-GC/MS and spectroscopy).

There is a growing interest in monitoring microplastics in the environment, corresponding to increased public concerns regarding their potential adverse effects on ecosystems. Monitoring microplastics in the environment is difficult due to the complex matrices that can prevent reliable analysis if samples are not properly prepared first.

In order to counteract the problem of the constantly growing volume of packaging in Germany (Schüler, 2019), the Federal Government has promoted the strategy of waste avoidance over other strategies such as reuse, recycling and recovery or disposal strategies of packaging waste in the waste hierarchy of the Circular Economy Act.

Packaging volumes are continuously increasing in Germany. Plastic packaging, with its short lifespan and low global recycling rates, contributes to the accumulation of macro and micro plastics in the environment. Merely switching to glass and cardboard packaging does not appear to be an appropriate solution, as LCA studies suggest.

This article from the German magazine „masche“ portraits the joint project VerPlaPoS. The project examines consumer’s behavior concerning plastics and avoidance strategies at the point of sale.

Plastic pollution – especially the dramatic littering of the oceans – and the public concern about it, has powerfully brought the issue on the European and German political agenda. This background paper provides an overview of existing and new laws and initiatives regarding plastics in Germany and the EU.

Microplastics found in nature originate from different sources can be classified accordingly. Primary microplastics are produced as such, whereas secondary microplastics are only created through the weathering of larger plastic parts in the environment.

Plastic particles are almost omnipresent in our environment. Even though nanoplastic pollution also falls into this area of concern, current analytical approaches reach their limits in this size range.

This paper by Schwaferts et al. addresses methodological gaps that exist in the analysis of microplastics. Specifically, it deals with the analysis of nanoparticles, as they are not covered by common analytical methods.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are widespread and environmentally persistent chemicals and a recurrent focus of scientific and public attention due to their effects on humans and the environment. PAH differ in their properties, but many of them are bioaccumulative and/or toxic to organisms.

Plastic avoidance explained easily.

In this discussion paper of the cross-cutting topic 4, the social dimensions of plastics in the environment are examined from various perspectives and disciplines, making them more tangible for researchers as well as for stakeholders in politics, media and industry.
To what extent can plastics be found in water, soil, air, in the oceans and on the coasts in Germany? How and why do they get there at all? Where is further research needed - and what measures can be taken to reduce the amount of plastics in Germany? On the occasion of the World Oceans Day on 8 June 2019, the German Environment Agency published a current overview.
This policy paper shows municipal policy options for enabling and supporting companies and consumers to reduce and avoid plastic packaging. Core elements in the support of companies are various offers and activities for the establishment of a low-packaging product range and for the expansion of reusable systems.

This background paper was developed within the framework of the Innoredux joint research project and describes which materials shape the volume of packaging and packaging waste in Germany. Moreover, the paper outlines the most important German and European legal regulations relating to packaging in the context of the project.

This article by Bastian Loges and Anja P. Jakobi from the REPLAWA joint project deals with different norm dynamics and governance forms of plastics.
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