Identifying and quantifying the entry of microplastics into the environment is fundamental to develop effective mitigation strategies. So far, microplastic research has mainly focused on marine environments and large rivers. However, it is the small-scale rivers systems, often adjacent to agricultural areas and waste water treatment plants, which have been suggested to play an important role in the entry of microplastics to aquatic habitats. Therefore, the aim of our ongoing research is to map the Hessian river Lahn, exemplary as small-scale river system, in high resolution to assess microplastic pollution and to identify sources. As river sediments differ from marine sediments, a different methodological protocol is required. Here, we present a methodological protocol to purify samples from the river bed, bank and flood plain and show first results of microplastic pollution. These results indicate that small-scale rivers act as (possibly temporary) sink for terrestrial microplastics.
Poster presentation in Microplastics in the marine environment-POSTER SESSION