Research project REC-MP: Development of a rapid test for microplastic detection in waters

Even though scientists and society now know quite a bit about microplastics, much of this is based on non-comparable individual studies and assumptions and estimates derived from them.

A wide variety of sampling and analytical methods are used today, making it almost impossible to compare results.

The actual extent of microplastics in our environment is currently unknown. The relevant stakeholders can only rely on estimates with enormous ranges of values. As a result, little to nothing is being done concretely to counteract the uncontrolled distribution of microplastics in and through our water cycle.

With our REC-MP project, we pursue the goal of making the detection of microplastics in water bodies significantly simpler, faster, and cheaper than conventional methods. Building on our research in wastewater, the goal is to develop a rapid test that can detect microplastic pollution in a reproducible (R), efficient (E), and cost-effective (C) manner. This would allow for the first time a comprehensive and standardized data collection on the state of our waters - worldwide.

A big thank you to the Vector Stiftung, which supports this project. The project started on October 1, 2021.