5. July 2023

Forever Chemicals – PFAS (Part 1)

Non-stick pans, waterproof clothing, food packaging – within all these products lie toxic “forever” chemicals called PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). These synthetic chemicals are used in various industries for their water-, stain- and grease-resistant properties, but contaminate the air, water, and soil along the entire value chain. They have been detected everywhere from human blood and organs, groundwater, marine animals, wildlife, rain, and remote regions of the Arctic. Because of their high persistence, they can take thousands of years to degrade and thus accumulate in the environment. Combined with their toxicity, high mobility, accumulation in organisms (bioaccumulation and -magnification), they are a major concern as environmental pollutants. The EU has recently released its proposal for a PFAS ban. In our two-part blog, we get to the bottom of the issue.
27. June 2023

Sports and Microplastics

The focus today is not on functional clothing, but on artificial turf pitches. A place where sport drama takes place and people gather to cheer, cry, fight devotedly and bare their hearts. Artificial turf fields are places of encounter, but unfortunately also a place and pathway for microplastics to enter the environment. The benefits of high robustness and low maintenance have led to a rapid increase in the number of pitches, but no one has considered the associated environmental impacts. However, possibilities exist to minimize the entries into the environment, possibly even to reduce them to zero, and are covered in today's blog.
3. May 2023

Washing Maschines as a Source of Microplastics?!

Washing synthetic textiles releases large amounts of microplastics into the environment every day worldwide. This is why France is introducing mandatory microplastic filters for new washing machines beginning in 2025. But just how effective are such filters? And is this the most effective approach moving forwards? This blog post covers how microplastics are formed during washing, which factors influence their formation, the reduction and prevention strategies which currently exist, and potential solutions.
29. March 2023

Partner in Mission: Zurich Group Germany

In 2021, the Planet Hero Awards for innovative sustainability projects were presented for the first time by the Zurich Group Germany and we were also among the award winners. Now, almost 2 years of cooperative action with the Zurich Group Germany have passed. It’s time to learn more about this Partner in Mission – What has happened so far and what can happen in the future.
1. March 2023

Outlook for World Water Day

In order to draw society's attention to the great importance of water and water availability, the UN decided in 1993 to declare March 22 every year as World Water Day. This is to both celebrate the importance of water and draw attention to the ongoing water and sanitation crisis. The motto of this year's World Water Day is "Accelerating Change together." Since every day is World Water Day for us, there is also a competition in addition to the outlook.
22. December 2022

Microplastics and Textiles – a state description

One of the main sources of direct microplastic entry into the environment is through the wearing and washing of synthetic textiles. The European Commission has identified the textile value chain as a key priority in the EU Circular Economy Action Plan and proposed key actions and measures that are set to be finalized by the end of this year. This blog will provide an overview of issues related to the synthetic textiles, the proposed pathways to target unintentional microplastic release, along with the associated challenges that must be addressed.
29. November 2022

Impact of microplastics on wildlife

Microplastics are a pervasive environmental pollutant affecting wildlife, ecosystem, and human health. Microplastics can be consumed at all trophic levels and transmitted along the food chain, resulting in numerous long-term detrimental impacts on wildlife and ecosystems across the world. We have gone through recent, state of the art research that has been done on microplastic impacts on wildlife in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems, and summarize some of the main points in this blog.
10. November 2022

Microplastics and human health

Microplastics have been detected in human blood, lungs, and the placenta of unborn babies. Widespread exposure of humans to microplastics is undeniable. Understanding the impacts of microplastics (< 5 mm) and nano-plastics (< 1 µm) on environmental and human health and the identification of critical thresholds and characterization of hazards, are thus important steps towards effective microplastic management. This article looks at where our knowledge of microplastic impacts on human health currently stands, and the challenges faced.