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Plastics

Plastics

Plastics in the environment have become a global problem. To solve it, different actors such as product designers, producers, converters, retailers, consumers, recyclers, and disposal companies throughout the value chain need to work together. This calls for interdisciplinary research. Ecologic Institute is exploring various aspects of this issue, such as freshwater and marine environments, soil, recycling, water management, legal requirements, and the regulation of macro- and microplastics. Our team members have expertise on international and European plastics regulation as well as various related policy fields, such as ecotoxicology, microplastics analytics, water treatment, and recycling issues. This allows them to analyze which regulations are still missing and to provide recommendations with a view to strengthening the patchy regulatory framework for the production, use, and disposal of plastics. Ecologic Institute is also represented in fora  such as the German roundtable on marine litter. Furthermore, it strengthens civic engagement via citizen science projects which involve members of the public in research.

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Resource Conservation + Circular Economy

Plastics

Bioeconomy

Ariel Araujo
Researcher

Environmental Law – Ecologic Legal

Land Use

Climate

Plastics

Arctic

Trade

Governance

Dr. Ralph Bodle, LLM
Senior Fellow

Digitalization

Education

Indicators

Plastics

Resource Conservation + Circular Economy

Trade

Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers
Coordinator Resource Efficiency & Circular Economy
Senior Fellow

Cities

Plastics

International Development

Nature-based Solutions and Green Infrastructure

Climate

Evaluation

Indicators

Education

Governance

Doris Knoblauch
Coordinator Urban & Spatial Governance
Senior Fellow

Cities

Nature-based Solutions and Green Infrastructure

Climate

Education

Plastics

Linda Mederake
Researcher

Environmental Law – Ecologic Legal

Energy

Climate

Digitalization

Education

Plastics

Dr. Stephan Sina
Senior Fellow
Coordinating In-house Counsel

Water

Adaptation

Evaluation

Digitalization

Education

Plastics

Indicators

Governance

Dr. Ulf Stein
Coordinator Water Studies
Senior Fellow

Climate

Plastics

Land Use

Environmental Law – Ecologic Legal

International Development

Governance

Dr. Heidi Stockhaus
Coordinator International Development
Fellow
Selected Projects for Plastics
 
| Fotolia © Christian Schulz
In the framework of the scientific accompanying research (PlastikNet) of the research focus "Plastics in the Environment – Sources • Sinks • Solutions" (Plastik in der Umwelt – Quellen • Senken • Lösungsansätze) Ecologic Institute coordinates 20 joint research projects,... Read more
 
Marko Sarenac | Stock.adobe.com
Combating plastic litter on land and in water is one of the major challenges of global environmental protection. As part of its plastics strategy, the EU will adopt a directive to restrict the use of several disposable plastic products and fishing gear. On behalf of the... Read more

The EU Directive on Disposable Plastics and Fishing Gear

Duration
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Funding
 
Ecologic Institute participates in a Framework Contract for Europeaid (2018-2020) for "Sustainable management of Natural Resources and Resilience" in the implementation of external aid. The aim of the Framework Contract is to support and advise European Commission... Read more

Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in EU International Development Aid

Duration
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Funding
 
| Fotolia © Alexandre Dudouble
The research project's objective is to provide a legal and political science perspective to the Federal Government's efforts to anchor the protection of resources more strongly at the international level. The project analyses how public international law and other... Read more
 
| © whitecomberd | Fotolia.com
Plastic pollution of the world's oceans is a quickly growing environmental problem. A number of international instruments and treaties are trying to address the problem, but the growing amount of plastic waste that is polluting our seas shows these are insufficient.... Read more
All projects on Plastics
Selected Publications for Plastics

Plastic regulation

 
The discussion paper presents the rationale for a new treaty on tackling plastic waste and highlights its possible added value. The objective would be to reduce marine plastic litter through a comprehensive approach that also includes land-based sources, a life cycle... Read more

Bodle, Ralph; Sina, Stephan (2019), "A treaty on plastic waste. Discussion paper for the international round-table on Tackling global plastic pollution – Ways towards an international convention", Ecologic Institute, Berlin.

 
There are numerous regulatory approaches at international, regional and national level regarding the handling of plastic products and plastic waste. What they all have in common is their limited effectiveness. In their contribution, Linda Mederake, Stephan Gürtler and... Read more

Mederake, Linda; Gürtler, Stephan; Knoblauch, Doris (2019): Regulation: Solutions at the Wrong End. In: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung und BUND – Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (Eds.): Plastic Atlas 2019. Facts and figures about the world of synthetic polymers. Berlin.

 
Anzahl von Pro-Argumenten für die Plastikregulierung nach Sub-Kategorien
This article by Ecologic Institute's Linda Mederake and Doris Knoblauch uses a structuring qualitative content analysis to investigate the parliamentary debates of two recently adopted plastic policies in the EU – namely the EU Plastics Strategy and the Single... Read more

Mederake, Linda; Knoblauch, Doris (2019): Shaping EU Plastic Policies: The Role of Public Health vs. Environmental Arguments. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2019, 16, 3928.

 
Marine plastic pollution is a fast growing problem and it is not yet possible to estimate how severe the impacts currently are. Between 4.8 and 12.7 Mt of plastics ends up in the ocean each year, adding to the uncontrolled plastic waste already floating around the world... Read more

Simon, Nils; Knoblauch, Doris; Mederake, Linda; McGlade, Katriona; Schulte, Maro Luisa; Masali, Supriya (2018): No More Plastics in the Ocean. Gaps in Global Plastic Governance and Options for a Legally Binding Agreement to Eliminate Marine Plastic Pollution. Draft report for WWF to support discussions at the Ad Hoc Open-ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics. Berlin: adelphi.

Publications within the BMBF Research Focus Plastics in the Environment

 
Projektwebsite: Plastik in der Umwelt
The Ecologic Institute designed and developed the bilingual project website "Plastic in the Environment". It contains an interactive map, which gives an overview of all funded projects. Furthermore the website provides detailed information on the projects and related... Read more

Ecologic Institut (2018): Plastic in the Environment. URL: www.bmbf-plastik.de/en

 
With its comprehensive research programme, the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) is funding 18 research projects which have the overall aim of noticeably decreasing the amount of plastics in the... Read more

Ecologic Institute (ed.) 2018: BMBF Research Focus - Plastics in the Environment Sources • Sinks • Solutions - Overview of the Joint Research Projects.

 

○ Plastic in the Environment

Ecologic Institute designed a promotional flyer as part of the visual identity for the project "Plastic in the Environment – Sources • Sinks • Solutions." The flyer summarizes the general objectives and aims of the project, contains a list of partners and contact... Read more

Ecologic Institut (2018): Plastic in the Environment. Flyer

 
The pollution caused by plastics in the environment is constantly growing and is receiving increasing public attention. The research focus "Plastics in the Environment" funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is designed to address the... Read more

Ecologic Institute (ed.) 2019: BMBF-Forschungsschwerpunkt Plastik in der Umwelt – Quellen • Senken • Lösungsansätze. Statuskonferenz, 09./10. April 2019, Kalkscheune, Berlin. Berlin: Ecologic Institute.

 
Plastic in the environment is a global problem that is particularly visible in a growing volume of plastic waste in the sea. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has set up a major research focus to investigate the extent of the problem in more... Read more

Knoblauch, Doris et. al. 2018: Dem Plastik auf der Spur. In: WasserWirtschaft 2018, 11, 80-82.

 
Diskussionspapier
This discussion paper, edited by Ecologic Institute, presents the physicochemical investigation methods used in the research focus "Plastics in the Environment", in particular for the analysis of microplastics. Therefore, representatives of the joint research... Read more

Braun, Ulrike; Jekel, Martin; Gerdts, Gunnar; Ivleva, Natalia; Reiber, Jens (2018): Discussion Paper Microplastics Analytics. Sampling, Preparation and Detection Methods. Discussion paper published in the course of the research focus "Plastics in the Environment – Sources • Sinks • Solutions". Berlin: Ecologic Institute.

 
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... Read more

Ecologic Institute 2019: Plastik in der Umwelt: Sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung. Überblick über Forschungsgegenstände, Ergebnisarten und Zielgruppen der Projekte mit sozialwissenschaftlichem Anteil im BMBF-Forschungsschwerpunkt "Plastik in der Umwelt". Infographic.

 
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... Read more

Ecologic Institute 2019: Plastik in der Umwelt: Sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung. Überblick über Forschungsgegenstände, Ergebnisarten und Zielgruppen der Projekte mit sozialwissenschaftlichem Anteil im BMBF-Forschungsschwerpunkt "Plastik in der Umwelt". PlastikNet Poster Series. Poster.

All publications on Plastics
Selected Events for Plastics

Microplastics

Citizen Science

 
| © BMBF/Wissenschaftsjahr 2016*17
Initially developed for the Science Year 2016/*17 – Seas and Oceans of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the funding for the youth campaign "Plastic Pirates" has been extended as part of the BMBF's research focus "Plastic in the Environment".... Read more

Workshop:Plastic Pirates – The Sea Begins Here!

Date
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Location
, Germany
 
Ever tried oysters from a natural heritage site, or discussed plastics pollution of the oceans while sipping seaweed cocktails? Participants at the second Science Sips event got to experience exactly that on 28 April 2017 while sitting across the impressive dinosaur... Read more
All events on Plastics
Selected Presentations for Plastics
 
On 2 December 2019, Doris Knoblauch and Dr. Stephan Sina, Senior Fellows at Ecologic Institute, held a presentation on "Tackling Plastic Pollution – Introduction to Global Plastic Pollution and the Discussions at the International Level" for 21 experts... 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 schoolchildren's university of the Nürtingen Primary School in Berlin-Kreuzberg. They held a lecture on "Plastics Crisis ... Read more
 
Präsentation Plastikpiraten
At the dialogue event "The River, the Waste and Me" by the Berlin initiative "Alles im Fluss" in cooperation with "Stadtgespräch Wasser bewegt Berlin" on water pollution control and waste on the banks, Linda Mederake, scientific researcher at Ecologic Institute,... Read more
 
Präsentation "Towards a Global Plastics Convention"
At Scotland's International Marine Conference 2019, Ecologic Institute's Linda Mederake presented results from the study "No more Plastics in the Ocean – Gaps in Global Plastic Governance and Options for a Legally Binding Agreement to Eliminate Marine Plastic Pollution"... Read more

Lecture:Towards a Global Plastics Convention

Date
Location
Glasgow, United Kingdom
All presentations on Plastics