Can microplastics get into the water, when I wash a fleece jacket made of polyester? How many climate-damaging greenhouse gases are emitted by the production of plastic? What is chemical recycling? Together with numerous researchers from all over Germany, we got to the bottom of these and other questions at the Plastics in the Environment Theme Day.
The relevance of plastic pollution in the natural environment remains high, even in times of the Corona pandemic. For many people, water pollution (i.e. of oceans, rivers, lakes, and groundwater) and plastic in the environment are among the top environmental issues of concern.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany launched the major research focus "Plastics in the Environment – Sources – Sinks – Solutions" in 2017 to fill critical knowledge gaps. Twenty different research projects with more than 100 participating institutions from science, industry and practice are dealing with very different aspects of the problem.
The findings of that research were presented on 6 May 2022 at the Spreespeicher in Berlin. What influence does tyre abrasion have on the occurrence of microplastics in the environment? What role can we assign to consumer decisions in supermarkets? What responsibility should companies assume, and do we need new laws to regulate plastic in our society? Visitors could find out about these and other aspects of plastic in the environment at numerous interactive exhibition stands, and discussed them with the respective scientists.
In addition to a photo exhibition, a science and poetry slam, improvisation theatre and exciting discussion rounds, children, young people and adults also had the opportunity to get involved in creative workshops and exciting hands-on activities, e.g. water samples were taken from the Spree directly on site.
Youth photo competition "From the perspective of a microplastic particle"
What does the world look like from the perspective of a microplastic? Under this motto, 88 entries were received in our March 2022 photo competition. The top 3 entries were awarded at the theme day. The top 15 photos can be viewed online here.