In International Relations, little research exists that examines the specific actors, structures and processes involved in the diverse regulatory activities regarding plastics. This paper provides a framework for such an analysis.
When buying food, more and more consumers want to avoid plastic packaging. However, it is often difficult to find products without plastic packaging. Often, there is a lack of alternatives or consumers lack knowledge about the most ecological packaging. In addition, many consumers would have to change their shopping behavior completely and, for example, would need to go shopping more frequently, because unpacked fresh goods are not that durable. This is often incompatible with everyday life.
This article by Ecologic Institute's Linda Mederake and Doris Knoblauch uses a structuring qualitative content analysis to investigate the parliamentary debates of two recently adopted plastic policies in the EU – namely the EU Plastics Strategy and the Single-Use Plastics Directive – and assess the relevance of public health and environmental arguments for the EU debate.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a report that examines the state of research on microplastics in drinking water (bottled and from the tap). According to current data, there are no impacts on human health, but further research is necessary.

This discussion paper presents the first findings of the joint research project VerPlaPoS on packaging in the textile industry and its supply chain.

As part of the research project EmiStop, flocculants for the removal of microplastics from industrial wastewater have been developed. The flocculation of polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, and polyamide was investigated for nine different combinations of inorganic and organic coagulants and flocculants both in tap water and in industrial wastewater matrices.

Plastics have become an indispensable part of our everyday lives. Plastic products make a lot of things easier, but they also endanger our health and flood our planet with garbage. The Plastic Atlas offers data and facts about a world full of plastics. In 19 chapters, it sheds light on very different aspects of plastics, each of which is illustrated with infographics.

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.

At the status conference of the BMBF research focus "Plastics in the Environment – Sources • Sinks • Solutions", the coordinators of the joint research projects presented their research plans and interim results.

The pollution caused by plastics in the environment is constantly growing and is receiving increasing public attention. The research focus "Plastics in the Environment" funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is designed to address the still insufficient state of knowledge.

Here you can find all project sheets of the Joint Projects in one document. It is available for download.

Rivers are an important source of marine anthropogenic litter, but the particular origins of riverine litter itself have not been well established. Here we used a citizen science approach where schoolchildren examined litter at riversides and identified possible sources at over 250 sampling spots along large and small rivers in Germany, during autumn 2016 and spring 2017.

The article "On the Trail of Plastics" provides an overview of the activities of the research focus "Plastics in the Environment - Sources • Sinks • Solutions" and explains which open questions are to be answered by the activities of the funded projects. In addition, the individual focal points and joint projects are listed and described in more detail.

One of the first cross-project results of the research focus has been published: The discussion paper "Microplastics Analytics" reflects the current state of research on physicochemical investigation methods within the research focus and is intended to contribute to a pool of methods that is as standardised as possible for the relevant application fields in science, industry and administration.
There is a high demand for easy, cheap, comparable, and robust methods for microplastic (MP) analysis. This article deals with the most prominent detection methods as well as with sampling strategies and sample preparation techniques. Special emphasis is on their benefits and challenges.
In this article, the authors analyze the diffusion patterns of plastic bag bans and plastic bag taxes in the Global South and Global North to contribute to the further refinement of diffusion theory by specifically addressing the under-researched Global South.

Ecologic Institute designed a promotional flyer in 4-fold flyer format as part of the visual identity for the project "Plastics in the Environment – Sources • Sinks • Solutions." The flyer summarizes the general objectives and aims of the project, contains a list of partners and contact information and is styled according to the project style-guide.

Between 2014 ​and 2017, a ​research group ​at the ​University of ​Bayreuth led by ​Prof. Dr. ​Christian ​Laforsch ​gathered and ​analysed water ​samples from 22 ​rivers, mainly ​in the ​catchment area ​of the Rhein ​and Donau (​Danube) rivers.

This report has been prepared for the European Commission by ICF in association with Eunomia and partners.

The objectives of the study were to:

The Overview of the Joint Research Projects presents the aims of the overall research programme as well as the 18 research projects and the accompanying research of PlastikNet. It is now available for download.
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