Plastic waste has become a global threat to the aquatic environment. Since the 1950s, plastic production has increased exponentially from 1.7 Mt (million metric tons) to 335 Mt in 2016 (PlasticsEurope 2017). Inappropriate disposal, so-called littering of plastics, leads to an increasing presence in the natural environment.
The major goals of PLA-NET are:
Especially in the last years, a lot of new research projects about plastics started worldwide. For merging the current knowledge and allocating information about projects on plastics in freshwater and coastal areas worldwide, the German Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) and the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC) created this homepage on plastics in freshwater environments and coastal areas in July 2018.
The homepage should act as an international information platform on freshwater and coastal environments. The platform informs about participant institutes, upcoming activities (e.g. conferences or workshops) and scientific publications on plastics in aquatic environments. Moreover, it should enhance collaboration opportunities in the future.
Everybody is invited to join this network, to present projects, share insights into the current (country-specific) situation. Interested persons are welcome to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Federal Institute of Hydrology, Koblenz, Germany
The German Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) is a supreme federal agency within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). It is responsible for the German waterways in federal ownership and advises federal ministries, e.g. the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and the Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV). Within the Federal Institute of Hydrology, the department G3 “Ecotoxicology and Biochemistry” is dealing with (micro)plastics in German waterways since 2015. Our main focus is the quantitative and qualitative inventory of (micro)plastics in water, sediment and biota in German waterways. Moreover, we developed methods for sampling and sample preparation and deal with ecotoxicological effects on aquatic organisms. www.bafg.de
International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC)
The International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC) was founded by the German Federal Government under the auspices of UNESCO as a Category 2 Centre and is located at the Federal Institute of Hydrology in Koblenz (Germany).
This Water Centre supports the implementation of the “International Hydrological Programme” (IHP) of UNESCO and the “Hydrology and Water Resources Programme” (HWRP) of WMO. The IHP/HWRP Secretariat is part of the Centre. www.waterandchange.org