Microplastics in the environment – Current status of research

What is the current status of the discussion between experts on microplastics in the environment? An overview of the debate is now provided by a publication of the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) on the research topic “Plastics in the environment”. WESSLING microplastics expert Dr Jens Reiber was one of the researchers who contributed their expertise to the publication.

Car tyres on a wet road

The objective was to unite physicochemical test methods for the analysis of microplastics in order to be able to compare the results of the funding measure. This way a uniform pool of methods could be defined. The pool serves as a basis for the relevant questions of science, economy and administration. WESSLING is one of the few laboratories in Europe with the necessary know-how and equipment to perform analyses of microplastics in water and sediments, in food, beverages or cosmetics. Together with partners from industry and science, our team of experts pushes research to new levels, including the following research projects “Tyre abrasion in the environment (RAU)” and “MikroPlastiCarrier”.                   

The discussion paper will be updated annually through the course of the research project.


Dr Jens Reiber, WESSLING Group - Consulting and Analysis

Dr Ulrike Braun, Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing

Prof Dr-Ing Martin Jekel, Technische Universität, Berlin

Dr Gunnar Gerdts, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

Dr Natalia P. Ivleva, Technische Universität Munich, Institute of Water Chemistry & Balneology, Chair of Analytical Chemistry and Water Chemistry