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Research Focus: Plastics in the Environment - Topic Freshwater Ecosystem 1

Plastics in the environment are a global problem and the evidence for this is hard to miss: huge waste deposits are seen in the oceans even in remote areas of the Arctic, plastic particles are found in the stomachs of fish and seabirds, and plastics of all sizes and shapes are clearly visible on almost any beach around the world. The BMBF is thus supporting the transition to a resource and environmentally friendly economy, which is at the heart of the flagship initiative Green Economy within the BMBF-framework programme ”Research for Sustainable Development” (FONA³). The spectrum of topics covered by this research focus ranges from the improvement of certain plastic materials with regard to their environmentally compatible degradability, the investigation of entry points into water bodies and the analysis of possible toxic effects on aquatic organisms to strengthening the environmental awareness of consumers. Research on plastics in freshwater systems features only a few isolated investigations; an overall understanding of plastics’ points of entry, their spread, and the resulting effects on aquatic biology (including risk analysis for humans) does not yet exist. The projects in this research focus aim to close this knowledge gap. For more information, visit:

Tags:analysis,aquatic,arctic,awareness,biology,bmbf-framework,degradability,deposits,development,economy,effects,entry,environmentally,fish,focus,green,improvement,knowledge,materials,oceans,organisms,plastics,research,resource,risk,spectrum,strengthening,supporting,toxic,transition,visible waste

Ecology:   |  biodiversity  |  habitat  |  niche  |  niche construction  |  biome  |  biosphere  |  individual ecology  |  population ecology  |  ecosystem  |  keystone species
Pollution:   |  air pollution  |  light pollution  |  littering  |  noise  |  radioactive  |  water pollution
Sustainability:   |  social  |  economic  |  environment  |  organizations  |  sustainable development  |  sustainable life
Environment:   |  environmental education  |  recycling  |  environmental health  |  conservation  |  animals  |  forests  |  ecosystems  |  clean energy
Climate-change:   |  atmosphere  |  cfcs  |  greenhouse gases  |  NASA  |  glaciers  |  carbon emission  |  solar output