Fluxes and Fate of Microplastics in Northern European Waters
Duration: 3 Years (June 2020 until May 2023)
Dr. Barbara Scholz-Böttcher
Research Group: Organic Geochemistry
Tel.: +49-441 798-5362
Fax: +49-441 798-3404
Prof. Dr. Oliver Wurl
Research Group: Processes & Sensors of Marine Interfaces
Tel.: +49-4421 944-228
Fax: +49-4421 944-140
Microplastics (MP) are plastic particles, fibres or fragments smaller than 5 mm. The paths of MP into the marine environment are diverse. Potential inputs include textile fibers from dust and sewage treatment plants, packaging materials and waste from marine industries such as aqua farms. In addition, large amounts of waste are released into the environment through littering and mismanagement of waste (Eunomia, 2019; PlasticsEurope, 2019).
The FACTS project aims to create new knowledge about the sources, transport, occurrence and fate of MP in the northern marine waters. To this end, different analysis, monitoring and modelling approaches will be combined to describe the transport, sources and sinks of microplastics from the southern North Sea to the Arctic waters of the Barents Sea. FACTS analyses and quantifies the vertical transport of microplastics in the water column. Different sampling campaigns on research and fishing vessels will be performed and the plastic particle and plastic mass concentrations will be implemented into oceanographic models. FACTS also addresses current challenges posed by nanoplastics and the input of tire abrasion into the marine environment.
FACTS consists of an interdisciplinary consortium with 16 partners from different European countries.