Mikroplastik in Binnengewässern Süd- und Westdeutschlands

Mikroplastik in Binnengewässern Süd- und Westdeutschlands

Bundesländerübergreifende Untersuchungen in Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Hessen, Nordrhein-Westfalen und Rheinland-Pfalz. Teil 1: Kunststoffpartikel in der oberflächennahen Wasserphase

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. ​The new ​findings now ​represent one ​of the ​world's ​largest data ​sets from ​standardized ​studies on the ​appearance of ​plastic ​particles in ​rivers. ​

The study was ​commissioned by ​the German ​states of Baden-​Wü​rttemberg, ​Bavaria, Hesse, ​North Rhine-​Westphalia, and ​Rhineland-​Palatinate. ​

The 52 water ​samples under ​examination ​were taken from ​regions in ​southern and ​western Germany ​that varied ​greatly with ​respect to ​landscape, ​settlement, and ​industrial ​density. The ​researchers in ​Bayreuth found ​and analysed ​more than 19,​000 objects in ​these samples ​of which 4,335 ​were unambiguously ​identified as ​plastic ​particles. ​

Around 99 ​percent of ​these plastic ​particles are ​smaller than 5 ​millimetres and ​are thus ​classified as ​microplastics. ​Tiny particles ​with a diameter ​of 0.02 - 0.3 ​millimetres (20 ​- 300 ​micrometers) ​are the most ​common: they ​account for 62 ​percent of the ​plastic ​particles that ​were found. ​What is ​striking is ​that higher ​concentrations ​of microplastics ​tend to be ​found in small ​and medium-​sized ​tributaries. ​Only low to ​medium ​concentration ​levels were ​measured in the ​Rhein, the ​largest body of ​water studied. ​

Polyethylene ​and polypropylene ​are the types ​of plastic that ​have the ​highest market ​share in Europe.​ Unsurprisingly,​ the majority ​of particles ​analysed were ​also made of ​these types of ​plastics. The ​irregular, ​fragmentary ​appearance of ​most particles ​suggest that ​they are ​fragments of ​larger plastic ​objects. In ​addition, ​plastic fibres ​were discovered ​at many ​sampling sites. ​Other forms of ​particles such ​as foil ​remnants, beads,​ or pellets ​were not ​discovered as ​often.

(section of a press release by Universität Bayreuth)

Publisher
Year
2018
Author
AutorInnen
Citation

Heß, Maren; Diehl, Peter, Mayer, Jens; Rehm, Harald; Reifenhäuser, Werner; Stark , Jochen; Schweiger, Julia (2018): Mikroplastik in Binnengewässern Süd- und Westdeutschlands Bundesländerübergreifende Untersuchungen in Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Hessen, Nordrhein-Westfalen und Rheinland-Pfalz. Teil 1: Kunststoffpartikel in der oberflächennahen Wasserphase. Karlsruhe, Augsburg, Wiesbaden, Recklinghausen, Mainz.

( top of page )( zum Seitenanfang )