About

PLA-NET – a platform about plastics in freshwater and coastal environments to boost information exchange between various global regions

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.

For more information see Participating Institutes

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 (pla-net@bafg.de).

Federal Institute of Hydrology, Koblenz, Germany
Federal Institute of Hydrology, Koblenz, Germany

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)
International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC)

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

Latest Activities

Call for Proposals

JPI Oceans Sources, distribution & impact of microplastics in the marine environmentFurther Information: https://epss-jpi-oceans.ptj.de/call2018

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Nano and microplastics in technical and freshwater systems

The Microplastics2018 Organizing Committee welcomes you to attend the conference “Nano and microplastics in technical and freshwaters systems – Microplastics2018” that will be held from October 28 to 31, 2018 at the Conference Centre Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland, the venue of choice for Congressi Stefano Franscini, the international conference platform of ETH Zurich. Microplastics in …

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Microplastics in freshwater environments UNESCO International Hydrological Programme/Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

Microplastics in freshwater environments represent a growing concern. The presence of microplastics in freshwater have been reported in different parts of the world – even in remote areas. Yet, scientific knowledge on microplastics in freshwater is limited. The event presents the state of knowledge, research and policies on microplastics in freshwater. Results of the UNESCO-IHP …

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MICRO 2018

Fate and Impact of Microplastics: Knowledge, Actions and Solutions Building upon the stimulating work shared during MICRO 2016. Fate and Impact of Microplastics in Marine Ecosystems: From the Coastline to the Open Sea, we are delighted to invite the scientific community and stakeholders to participate in: MICRO 2018 Fate and Impact of Microplastics: Knowledge, Actions …

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Umwelt 2018

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry – German Language Branch (SETAC GLB) and Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology of the German Chemical Society (GDCH FG U&Ö)  Münster, Germany Session about microplastic/nanoparticles/polymers in the environment https://www.uni-muenster.de/GeoPalaeontologie/Geologie/Angewandte/Umwelt2018/index.html

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Participating Institutes

In 2017, the German Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) and the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC) organized a Summer School about plastics in marine and freshwater environments providing the state-of-the-art in research, measures and management options. One of the outcomes of this Summer School is the creation of a platform in order to share insights into the current (country-specific) situation, discuss related challenges and enhance collaboration opportunities in the future. The participating institutes present their research projects about plastics in freshwater and coastal environments.

Research projects:

Current list of participating institutes:

Latest Publications

Reducing marine pollution from single-use plastics (SUPs): A review

Abstract: Single-use plastics, or SUPs (plastic bags, microbeads, cutlery, straws and polystyrene) are substantial sources of plastic marine pollution, yet preventable via legislative and non-legislative interventions. Various international legislative strategies have been reported to address plastic marine pollution from plastic bags and microbeads, but these have since been accompanied by recent increasing public awareness triggered …

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Occurrence, sources, human health impacts and mitigation of microplastic pollution

Abstract: The presence and accumulation of plastic and microplastic (MP) debris in the natural environment is of increasing concern and has become the focus of attention for many researchers. Plastic debris is a prolific, long-lived pollutant that is highly resistant to environmental degradation, readily adheres hydrophobic persistent organic pollutants and is linked to morbidity and …

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China’s ban on imported plastic waste could be a game changer (online). China’s ban could curb plastic waste (print)

Abstract: China’s ban on imports of recycled plastic from developed countries takes effect this month. It could be a game changer if it weans us off plastic and forces us to seek sustainable alternatives. With no suitable strategies in place for dealing with this extra unexpected plastic, countries must quickly devise and implement alternative waste-management …

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Contact

If you are interested in joining this network or to add information about activities, publications etc., please contact us by email (pla-net@bafg.de). Everybody is invited to share information about plastics.

Federal Institute of Hydrology
Postfach 200253
D-56002 Koblenz

Office Building:
Am Mainzer Tor 1
D-56068 Koblenz

Contact Person:
Dr Friederike Stock
Telephone: +49 261 1306 5953
Mail: pla-net@bafg.de