Following the widespread assumption that a majority of ubiquitous marine microplastic particles originate from land-based sources, recent studies identify rivers as important pathways for microplastic particles (MPP) to the oceans. Yet a detailed understanding of the underlying processes and dominant sources is difficult to obtain with the existing accurate but extremely time-consuming methods available for the identification of MPP.
Thus in the presented study, a novel approach applying short-wave infrared imaging spectroscopy for the quick and semi-automated identification of MPP is applied in combination with a multitemporal survey concept. Volume-reduced surface water samples were taken from transects at ten points along a major watercourse running through the South of Berlin, Germany, on six dates. After laboratory treatment, the samples were filtered onto glass fiber filters, scanned with an imaging spectrometer and analyzed by image processing.
The presented method allows to count MPP, classify the plastic types and determine particle sizes. At the present stage of development particles larger than 450 μm in diameter can be identified and a visual validation showed that the results are reliable after a subsequent visual final check of certain typical error types. Therefore, the method has the potential to accelerate microplastic identification by complementing FTIR and Raman microspectroscopy. Technical advancements (e.g. new lens) will allow lower detection limits and a higher grade of automatization in the near future.
The resulting microplastic concentrations in the water samples are discussed in a spatio-temporal context with respect to the influence (i) of urban areas, (ii) of effluents of three major Berlin wastewater treatment plants discharging into the canal and (iii) of precipitation events. Microplastic concentrations were higher downstream of the urban area and after precipitation. An increase in microplastic concentrations was discernible for the wastewater treatment plant located furthest upstream though not for the other two.
Guidelines on Extended Producer Responsibility for Plastic Packaging. These guidelines provides framework for implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility. The Guidelines provide the roles and responsibilities of Producers, Importers, Brand Owners, Central Pollution Control Board, State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committees, recyclers and waste processors for effective implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility. Please note[…]
The Policy Brief gives an overview of the current waste management related policy ecosystem and provides preliminary recommendations based on desk research, specifically on marine litter in India.
The Government of India announced the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, which will prohibit the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of single use plastics (including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene) by 2022. To stop litering and promote reuse, the thickness of plastic carry bags have been increased. Please note that “English text follows[…]
Environment ministers around the globe agreed to create an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to create an international agreement to end plastic pollution at the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), held in Nairobi, Kenya, between February 28 and March 2, 2022.
Developing country facilities, financial and human resources prevent complete application of sampling, analysis, and observation protocols used in developed countries neccitating adaptations. Researchers in Vietnam developed and standardized a methodology for microplastic monitoring in sediments and surface waters of 21 environments (rivers, lakes, bays, beaches) of eight cities or provinces. The concentrations of microplastics in[…]