New study about the relevance of different sources of microplastics for marine protection in German
by Frederic Augustin
A new study evaluates for the first time the relevance of different sources of microplastics for marine protection in Germany. The study has been conducted by the nova-Institute on behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency. The results of the study show that every year approximately 500 tonnes of primary microplastics are used in cosmetic products in Germany. However, fragmentation of plastic debris is the most significant source of microplastics in the environment. It is estimated that each year between 6 and 10% of global plastics production ends up as marine litter. For Europe, this is equivalent to 3.4 to 5.7 million tonnes of plastics that are a source of microplastics. Therefore, microplastics in cosmetic products play a minor though avoidable role in environmental pollution caused by plastic debris.
The authors conclude that in order to curb microplastic emissions into the environment, it is not enough to focus on the use of primary microplastics in cosmetic products and other applications. Additional measures which drastically prevent further introduction and cut the overall quantities of plastic litter in the environment are needed – not only in Germany and Europe, but throughout the world. The study is now available for free at: http://bio-based.eu/ecology