Dalhousie University, School for Resource and Environmental Studies

Project name:
Policies to reduce use and disposal of single-use plastics

Project description:
The project aims to build strategic partnerships to mobilize knowledge into solutions and policies to reduce use and disposal of single-use plastics. Our project includes sampling, data collection, interpretation, research engagement and partnership collaboration through the School for Resource and Environmental Studies (SRES) as led by Professor Tony Walker.

Dalhousie University, School for Resource and Environmental Studies

Related links:
https://www.dal.ca/faculty/management/sres/faculty-staff/our-faculty/tony-walker.html

https://scholar.google.ca/citations?user=p2A7JcIAAAAJ&hl=en

RIMMEL

Project name:
RIMMEL (RIverine and Marine floating macro litter Monitoring and Modelling of Environmental Loading)

Project description:
The JRC exploratory project RIMMEL provides information about litter, mainly plastic waste, entering the European Seas through river systems. RIMMEL has collected data on riverine floating macro litter inputs to the sea. Data acquisition was based on the Riverine Litter Observation Network (RiLON) activities, which collected data from rivers in the European marine basins over a period of one year (September 2016 – September 2017). Data was collected by visual observations and documented with the JRC Floating Litter Monitoring Application for mobile devices, allowing a harmonized reporting, compatible with the MSFD Master List of Categories for Litter Items. Results provide the list of most frequent floating macro litter items entering the European Seas through rivers. Quantitative results and analysis of riverine litter input data will provide estimates of riverine litter load at European scale

Related links:

http://mhttp://mcc.jrc.ec.europa.eu/dev.py?N=simple&O=380&titre_page=RIMMEL

https://www.researchgate.net/project/RIMMEL-RIverine-and-Marine-floating-macro-litter-Monitoring-and-Modelling-of-Environmental-Loading

https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/floating-macro-litter-european-river

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (funded by UKWIR)

Project name:
Sink to River – River to Tap A review of potential risks from nanoparticles and microplastics

Project description:
The objectives of this projects are to establish what is known and to provide empirical evidence on plastic and microplastic particles entering and leaving UK water and wastewater works in addition to identifying whether the fate of microplastics are influenced by different treatment practices. The study will provide an up to date review on what is known around the world on MPs in potable water and wastewater.  In addition, through an intensive programme of field work and analysis, it will represent the most comprehensive study yet carried out on the fate of MPs both in drinking water and wastewater treatment.  The information will establish the position of the Water Industry with respect to the challenge of MPs entering and leaving WTW and WwTW plants in the UK.  It will search for evidence of certain treatments being more efficacious than others.

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

WESSLING Hungary Ltd.

Project name:
Microplastic Sampling Method

Project description:
Our goal is to develop a procedure and a tool set for the sampling and sample preparation of microplastics from freshwater environments (water, sediment) that can make a significant contribution to the standardization of this type of tests. The creation of a high resolution water sampling device will enable us to sample the fraction with a greater significance from an environmental and, presumably, physiological significance (20-50 micrometers). This is done in order to be able to supply data currently missing for freshwater matrices, to ensure that the results of river and lake microplastics surveys and monitoring projects that will necessarily start across Europe will be comparable in the future.

Sample preparations will be evaluated using different model systems and field collected samples as well. For water samples, an efficient and economical sample volume reduction process  and a high throughput workstation prototype is developed, which will not only increase the ease of handling, but will serve sustainability, because it will minimize the use of chemicals. For the preparation of field sediment samples, we intend to use different methods: processes that had been tested in a model system previously, developed on the basis of various publications, and optimized for commercially available instruments will be investigated. Based on the principle of the surrogate standard addition concept, we strive to develop an internal control for sample preparation, in order to obtain a more reliable picture of the measurement uncertainty, and to increase the reliability of the measurements later on.

Related links:
www.micro-plastics.eu
www.wessling.hu/en

Lagos State University, Nigeria

Project description:
Microplastics are a fast emerging class of pollutants emanating from human domestic, industrial, and, other ancillary activities. This is especially true in large urban aggregations with large populations such as Lagos, Nigeria. This projects is intended to establish presences, types, and ubiquity of occurrence of microplastics in the Lagos lagoon while concurrently establishing ecotoxicological implications if any.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung – BMBF)

Project name:
Plastics in the Environment – Sources • Sinks • Solutions

Project description:
Plastics in the environment are a global problem and the evidence for this is hard to miss: huge waste deposits are seen in the oceans even in remote areas of the Arctic, plastic particles are found in the stomachs of fish and seabirds, and plastics of all sizes and shapes are clearly visible on almost any beach around the world.

Despite a range of activities and approaches, our knowledge of the full extent of plastic pollution is still limited: there is not enough validated knowledge on the origins of plastics in the ocean, their behaviour in oceans, inland waters and soils, and how they could affect animals and humans.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung – BMBF) addresses this issue with its current research focus, an initiative called “Plastics in the Environment – Sources • Sinks • Solutions”. The BMBF is thus supporting the transition to a resource and environmentally friendly economy, which is at the heart of the flagship initiative Green Economy within the BMBF-framework programme ”Research for Sustainable Development” (FONA). With this research focus, the BMBF expands on work conducted in previous funding measures, e.g.: the international funding programme investigating microplastics in the oceans (part of JPI OCEANS), the ongoing joint research project “Microplastics in the water cycle” (MiWa) (part of the funding priority Sustainable Water Management), as well as the Social-ecological Junior Research Group PlastX working in this area.

The interdisciplinary nature of the research focus will enable a better understanding of the environmental impacts of plastic waste from river basins all the way to the oceans. The aim of the research is a first and comprehensive scientific assessment of the problem of plastic waste and to fill in existing knowledge gaps. In addition, solutions for reducing the emission of plastics into the environment are identified and implemented. For this purpose, the entire value chain of plastics, from production and use to disposal, is examined in order to identify opportunities for improvement and options for action, especially in an international context.

In the period of 2017–2021, a total of 18 joint research projects and an accompanying scientific project will be funded with around €35 million. More than 100 institutions from science, industry , civil society, and public administration are involved in what is currently the world‘s largest research focus in the field of the effects of plastic on the environment.

The goal of the BMBF’s research focus “Plastic in the Environment – sources, sinks and solutions” is to develop and establish scientific procedures, methods, instruments and concepts for investigating plastics in the environment. This involves

  • creating a consistent picture of the overall problem and making it the basis for international action
  • identifying, developing, and implementing solutions to the problem together with relevant political, economic and social actors
  • starting projects to reduce entry of plastics into the environment in cooperation with international partners from countries that constitute the most important producers and consumers of plastic

The overarching, long-term goal is to noticeably reduce the amount of plastics in the environment.

Related links:
https://bmbf-plastik.de/index.php/en

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

Project name:
Spatial and temporal distribution of microplastics in the Ottawa River, Canada.

Project description:
My proposed PhD research will sample the water and sediment at numerous selected locations throughout the Ottawa River watershed. Important point sources of microplastics to river ecosystems will be established, such as wastewater treatment plants, stormwater outfalls and where tributaries enter the Ottawa River. Once important point sources are established, sampling will be conducted through each season to determine any temporal variation in microplastic concentration in the river. Moreover, a currently established citizen science collaboration will enhance the spatial coverage of the research whereby volunteers will sample for microplastics over a 600 kilometer stretch of the Ottawa Valley and submit results for the current research.

Related links:
https://carleton.ca/

Tel-Aviv University Water Research Center

Project name:
New approach to detect and quantify PAEs in marine environments, Accumulate in filter-feeding invertebrates

Project description:
Plastic fragments from various sizes polluting the ocean are increasing significantly each year, having a devastating effect on the marine environment. Efforts are directed for estimating the amount of plastic and micro-plastic present in the ocean, and studying its impact on marine ecosystem. A major problem that negatively affects marine organisms, caused by plastic residues, is the release of phthalates to the aquatic phase.

Ascidians are marine filter-feeding invertebrates, which are very common around the world. Being immobile and able to filter high volumes of water, ascidians have a unique potential to act as a natural biological filter for micro-plastic suspended in the water column and bioaccumulation of phthalates released inside the organisms’ body .

An innovative analytical method was developed for the detection and quantification of phthalates in ascidians soft tissue. This method is based on the extraction of phthalates from tissues using Accelerated Solvent Extractor (ASE), and GC/MS for detection and quantification. The results obtained so far indicate large quantities of phthalates in the organisms’ body, much more than reported on similar studies in the past, and demonstrating some differences between independent sampling sites in east Mediterranean and the tropic red sea.

Link:
https://en-wrc.tau.ac.il/

LEESU – Laboratoire Eau Environnement et Systèmes Urbains (Leesu) Laboratoire Eau Environnement et Systèmes Urbains

Project name:
Since 2014, Johnny Gasperi and Bruno Tassin launched different research projects on the plastic litter issue, i.e. Plastic-Seine, Plastic-Air, Micro-Plast, etc.

Project description:
The researches carried out aimed at investigating the sources, fluxes, and fate of plastic debris – from macroplastics to microplastics – in urban area and hydrosystems, including the receiving anthropized water. The final objective is i) to provide knowledge on the abundance and characterization  of plastic debris in urban sources (wastewater, runoff, atmospheric deposition, etc.),  ii) to assess plastic debris fluxes, and iii) to evaluate the  contribution of the greater Paris area compared to the Seine river catchment.

Link:
https://www.leesu.fr/microplastiques-presentation (FR)