© 2019 ECOFARIO

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • LinkedIn
EN_Muell_im_Meer.jpg

Source: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Martin Künsting (CC-BY 4.0)

The term microplastics

  • Generally, in terms of plastic emissions, a distinction is made between microplastics and macroplastics, where microplastic particles are less than 5 millimeters and macroplastic particles are greater than 5 millimeters in size.

  • Furthermore, a distinction is made between primary microplastic particles that are deliberately produced during manufacture (e.g., cosmetic products) and secondary microplastic particles which result from the disintegration of larger pieces of plastic by solar radiation or the like.

  • Every year, 330,000 t of primary microplastics are being released in Germany, which corresponds to approx. 4 kg per inhabitant.

Sources

Mikroplastikquelle_Kläranlagen

Wastewater treatment plants

Until now, most of the microplastic particles have returned unfiltered to our water cycle. This is exactly where the ECOFARIO technology comes in, so that it will not happen again in the future.

Source: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Martin Künsting (CC-BY 4.0)

Households

Fiber abrasion in textile laundering and in the manufacture of cosmetics, detergents, and cleansers counts as one of the major sources of microplastics in households.

Mikroplastikquelle_Haushalte

Source: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Martin Künsting (CC-BY 4.0)

Mikroplastikquelle_Reifenabrieb

Tire abrasion in road traffic

Most of the microplastic load is caused by tire wear on the road.

Source: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Martin Künsting (CC-BY 4.0)

Landfills

Apart from composting and plastics recycling, most of the microparticle pollution during waste disposal originates from landfills.

Mikroplatikquelle_Mülldeponien

Source: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Martin Künsting (CC-BY 4.0)

Plastics-processing industry

In the plastics-processing industry, a lot of plastic in granulated form (pellets) is released during transport.

Source: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Martin Künsting (CC-BY 4.0)

Agricultural plastics

In agriculture, the abrasion of agricultural plastics (e.g., films) is one of the main sources of pollution.

Source: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Martin Künsting (CC-BY 4.0)

Sandblasting

During sandblasting, microparticles get into the environment and eventually into the groundwater as well. Sandblasting in the immediate vicinity of waters has a particularly serious effect.

Source: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Martin Künsting (CC-BY 4.0)

Construction sites

On construction sites, microparticles are released primarily during demolition work, the processing of plastics and as abrasion of insulating materials.

Source: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Martin Künsting (CC-BY 4.0)

Additional sources

  • Bitumen abrasion from asphalt

  • Abrasion of paints and varnishes

  • Abrasion of road markings

  • Drifts from artificial turf pitches

  • Abrasion of shoe soles

Videos