PlasticFreeDanube: Composition of macro-plastic waste in and along the Danube River

The reliable estimates are essential to developing measures to reduce plastic pollution and to make successes measurable and visible. For this reason, the cross-border project "PlasticFreeDanube" (PFD), which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund within the framework of Interreg Slovakia-Austria, aims to gain new knowledge on this topic for the Danube.

by Mayerhofer, Johannes; Lenz, Sabine; and Obersteiner, Gudrun

The demand for plastics is still unbroken worldwide. The material can be found in almost all areas of our life. Increasing production figures are accompanied by a growing input of plastics into the environment. Plastic waste is on everyone's lips these days, especially concerning the pollution of the oceans. Rivers are recognised as the main pathways for marine pollution (e.g. Great Pacific Garbage Patch). How-ever, the sources and origins of plastic waste, as well as transport routes and environmental impacts in fluvial systems, are largely unknown. This is not least due to the lack of standardized monitoring methods. The aim of the project "PlasticFreeDanube" is to establish a sound knowledge base on the occurrence and composition of macro plastic waste in and along the Danube. In addition, the analysis of transport behaviour and environmental influences is in focus. The following article deals with the development of methods for standardised sampling and sorting of plastic waste in river systems as well as the results of previous sorting analyses in the project area of the Donau-Auen National Park. 

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published: Recy & DepoTech, 11|2020
Keywords: Material Recovery, Policy Tax Instruments, Plastics