Microplastic in field, river and sea


 (c) BLE/Peter Meyer

Microplastic in field, river and sea

Plastic litter and small plastic particles is a global problem and can be found from urban centers, rural areas and fields to the aquatic environment such as lakes, rivers and seas. Only little is known on concentration, fate and possible effects of plastic particles on environment and organisms including humans.

Background and Objective

The Thünen Institute investigates several aspects of the topic "plastic in the environment" in different areas of expertise. There are up to now no standardized protocols to analyze plastic in the environment. This leads to the situation that results from different studies could not be easily compared to each other. Some research questions therefore remain still unanswered. This interdisciplinary project aims to unite existing competences and experience on "plastic in the environment".


Communication on Thünen projects on microplastic

Data and Methods

Investigations include collection of quantitative data on contamination status of different terrestial and aquatic ecosystems, modelling of transport processes within the ecosystems and possible impact of microplastic on organisms. With this a general view on the the fate of plastic in the environment will be possible.

Our Research Questions

Preliminary Results

The Project is an internal communication platform for the above mentioned projects on micro plastic. Regarding this goal it has been successfull.

For detailed results we refer to the above mentioned single projects.


Involved Thünen-Partners


7.2017 - 12.2021

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing


Results 1 - 5 of 11

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  1. Brandes E, Braun M, Rillig MC, Leifheit EF, Steinmetz Z, Fiener P, Thomas D (2020) (Mikro-)Plastik im Boden : Eintragspfade, Risiken und Handlungsoptionen. Bodenschutz 25(3):121-125, DOI:10.37307/j.1868-7741.2020.03.10
  2. Schütze B, Thomas D, Brunotte J (2020) Density separation of microplastics from artificial soil and compost. 2 p
  3. Brandt J, Bittrich L, Fischer F, Kanaki E, Tagg A, Lenz R, Labrenz M, Brandes E, Fischer D, Eichhon K-J (2020) High-throughput analyses of microplastic samples using fourier transform infrared and raman spectrometry. Appl Spectrosc 74(9):1185-1197, DOI:10.1177/0003702820932926
  4. Brandes E, Cieplik S, Fiener P, Henseler M, Herrmann F, Klasmeier J, Kreins P, Piel S, Shiravani G, Wendland F, Wurpts A (2020) Modellbasierte Forschung zu Mikroplastik in der Umwelt : Synthesepapier ; Im Rahmen des Forschungsschwerpunktes Plastik in der Umwelt, Quellen - Senken - Lösungsansätze. 26 p
  5. Thomas D, Schütze B, Heinze WM, Steinmetz Z (2020) Sample preparation techniques for the analysis of microplastics in soil - a review. Sustainability 12(21):9074, DOI:10.3390/su12219074
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 452 kb

Results 1 - 5 of 11

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