The widespread use of plastics, the mass consumption of disposable plastic products and the longevity of plastics lead to a waste volume that can hardly be managed anymore. Many people are particularly alarmed by the pollution of the oceans by microplastics and plastic waste. Despite all this, the volume of packaging per capita continues to rise and has doubled over the last twenty years – to 213 kilograms in 2015. The intense public debate has also called for a political response: A European plastics strategy is currently aimed at banning straws and plastic tableware. But can this solve the environmental problem? How serious are the effects of plastic waste and microplastics on the environment? What are the right steps to take to reduce the impact on the environment and the use of plastics?Read more
Coastal + Marine
showing 1-10 of 254 results
June 2019 to February 2020
The aim of the project participants is to provide the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) with scientific support in communicating the results of the IPCC Special Reports on "Climate Change and Land" (SRCCL) and "The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate" (SROCC). This is achieved by preparing the contents of the special reports by means of core messages, explanatory texts and presentations in webinars.Read more
The Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Water Framework Directive both require substantial additional reductions of nutrient loads (N and P) to the marine environment. Focusing on nitrogen, we present a widely applicable concept for spatially differentiated regulation, exploiting the large spatial variations in the natural removal of nitrate in groundwater and surface water. By targeting mitigation measures towards areas where nature’s own capacity for removal is low, spatially differentiated regulation can be more cost-effective than the traditional uniform regulation. We present a methodology for upscaling local modelling results on targeted measures at field scale to Baltic Sea drainage basin scale. The paper assesses the potential gain and discusses key challenges related to implementation of spatially differentiated regulation, including the need for more scientific knowledge, handling of uncertainties, practical constraints related to agricultural practice and introduction of co-governance regimes.Read more
Plastics Atlas 2019: Facts and figures about a world full of plastics
There are numerous regulatory approaches at the international, regional and national level regarding the handling of plastic products and plastic waste. What they all have in common is their limited effectiveness. Linda Mederake, Stephan Gürtler and Doris Knoblauch argue that this is partly due to the fact that at the international level a large number of binding agreements and voluntary initiatives have developed independently of one another and are therefore not coordinated in terms of content. The Plastics Atlas 2019 is available online.Read more
On 29 May 2019, Doris Knoblauch and Linda Mederake, both scientific researchers at Ecologic Institute, were guest "professors" at the Nürti Üni, the pupils' university of the Nürtingen Primary School in Berlin Kreuzberg. They held a lecture on "Plastics Crisis – Advantages of Plastics and the Problems of Plastic Consumption". Read more
Helene Hoffmann, scientific researcher on marine topics at Ecologic Institute, presented the concepts of 'Blue Society and Ocean Literacy' at the Open Sea Lab Kick-off event in Brussels on 24 May 2019. The Kick-off marked the official opening of the applications to participate in the Open Sea Lab Hackathon 2019, which is taking place from 4 to 6 September 2019 in Ghent (Belgium).Read more
The conference proceedings for the status conference of the research focus "Plastics in the Environment – Sources • Sinks • Solutions", presenting the joint research projects and cross-cutting topics, are available for download.Read more
On 9 and 10 April 2019, the status conference of the research focus "Plastics in the Environment – Sources • Sinks • Solutions" of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) took place in the Kalkscheune in Berlin. The coordinators of the 20 joint projects funded within the research focus presented their projects and explained first results as well as challenges of their projects. The conference proceedings, presenting the joint projects and cross-cutting topics, are available for download.Read more
Überblick über Forschungsgegenstände, Ergebnisarten und Zielgruppen der Projekte mit sozialwissenschaftlichem Anteil im BMBF-Forschungsschwerpunkt "Plastik in der Umwelt".
This infographic illustrates the research objects of the joint research projects with a social science component in the research focus "Plastics in the Environment" along the value chain and with a view to the addressed societal sectors. In addition, the graph indicates the target groups to which the project results are directed and whether these are mainly options for action or risk assessments.Read more
Overview of research topics, types of results and target groups of projects with a social science component in the research focus "Plastics in the Environment", funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
How is a topic such as microplastics socially problematised? How can consumers use plastics more sustainably? And what role do the interests and perceptions of different actors play in international plastics regulation? These and other questions are posed by social scientists in a number of joint research projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the research focus "Plastics in the Environment". In this poster series, social science research from ten joint research projects is presented and first interim results are briefly and concisely summarised.Read more