Fact sheet 12.2: Microplastics of textile origin in the environment

Outdoor and sports clothing consists mainly of polyester. During household washing, fibre fragments with a size of < 5 mm are released. Although up to 95 % of these are retained in local wastewater treatment plants, relevant quantities reach surface waters via wastewater, where they can accumulate (Zhang et al 2021). Textile properties and washing parameters influence this release.

Factsheet 11: Microplastics in wastewater treatment - Development of sampling and analysis methods for detection of input quantities into surface waters

It is not easy to determine how much microplastic is contained in wastewater and sewage sludge. In addition to plastic, countless other particles and substances are present. To reliably determine the concentration of microplastic particles, complex procedures for sampling as well as for removal of foreign substances and analysis of the microplastic particles are required.

Fact sheet 10.2: Microplastics in wastewater systems

The use of plastics permeates all areas of human life. Accordingly, microplastics are also produced in a variety of ways and are transported away via wastewater systems. However, little is known about which microplastic types and size distributions are found in the various wastewater streams, how well sewage treatment plants retain these loads and what ends up in water bodies.

Factsheet 7.2: Microplastics in the aquatic food web - Impact and transfer analysis based on the example of roundworms (nematodes)

"To assess the ecologic danger posed by microplastics, one must also consider indirect effects in the food web", say Sebastian Höss (Ecossa) and Marie-Theres Rauchschwalbe (Bielefeld University). The researchers from the joint project MikroPlaTaS looked at these effects using nematodes as an example.

Factsheet 7.1: Microplastics around dams - How do plastic particles behave in reservoirs?

Plastic is now ubiquitous not only in the sea but also in many inland waters. In certain areas, such as at barrages or in dams, the flow velocity decreases. As a result, the particles previously held in suspension by the current begin to sink to the bottom of the water and can then accumulate in the sediment.

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