From 2014 to 2017, our network partner University of Bayreuth has sampled 22 german rivers, mainly in the drainage area of Rhine and Danube. Leading scientist Prof Dr Christian Laforsch and his team found (micro)plastic at all sample sites, considering it an “anthropogenic basic load of plastic particles in waters”.
The researchers operated with a specially developed “mini manta trawl”, having a mesh size of 300 micrometers. Almost two thirds of the particles identified as plastics were nonetheless in the size area below 300 micrometers. A striking result was that higher levels of pollution were found in small and medium-size side waters, having a higher share of wastewater. The study conducted in the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria and Hesse therefore underlines the urgent need for solutions to eliminate plastic particles from wastewater.
See the press release of the University of Bayreuth (German)