Together against microplastics: German water experts travel to Italy to learn about new technologies


 15th Living Lakes Conference

Sustainable Food Summit
15th - 16th of June 2023, Amsterdam

7th - 11th of October 2023, Amsterdam



Together against microplastics: German water experts travel to Italy to learn about new technologies

-  Lakes and rivers in Germany and other European countries are increasingly polluted with microplastics.
- Each person ingests one credit card worth of plastic particles per week.
- Exchange of European water experts within the EU project "LIFE Blue Lakes" on filter technologies to reduce microplastic pollution.

Radolfzell, 15.05.2023: Tires, clothing, personal care products - they all have one thing in common: they release tiny plastic particles, so-called microplastics, into their environment. This microplastic is constantly transported further and is now found everywhere - even in Germany's inland waters. Studies show that ultimately hundreds of thousands of plastic particles end up in the human body every year via food, water and the air. Environmental associations can prove that each person ingests about the amount of plastic in a credit card - about five grams - of plastic per week.
The EU project "LIFE Blue Lakes", coordinated by the Italian environmental organization Legambiente in cooperation with the Global Nature Fund (GNF), the Lake Constance Foundation and the University of Marche in Italy, has therefore set itself the task of reducing the contamination of lakes in Germany and Italy by microplastics. In addition to reducing inputs into the environment, an important approach is to filter out microplastics from wastewater, which according to studies is the main route through which the environmental pest enters lakes.
Cross-border knowledge transfer
A group of water experts, consisting of employees from local authorities, wastewater treatment plants and nature conservation centers around Lake Constance and Lake Chiemsee, but also from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Hungary, just met in Ancona, Italy, to learn about a filter technology developed by the University of Marche ("Università Politecnica delle Marche") as part of the project. In addition to an introduction to the theoretical principles, the approximately 30 participants were able to familiarize themselves with solutions in the operation of wastewater treatment plants during an excursion and to test samples taken according to a newly developed standard protocol, which records and documents the microplastic contamination of wastewater, in practice. Here, participants examined water samples in the university's laboratory and classified the microplastic particles visible under the microscope. "Cross-border knowledge transfer is essential to finding solutions to the global problem of microplastic pollution in Europe," says Udo Gattenlöhner, executive director of the Global Nature Fund. "With the experience and impressions gained here, the participants can initiate urgently needed steps in their home countries to better protect waters from microplastic discharges."
About the EU-LIFE "Blue Lakes" project.
Microplastics have massive negative impacts on lake ecosystems and their biodiversity. It also enters the human body through the food chain, where health (endocrine) effects are very likely. For this reason, the Global Nature Fund (GNF) has founded a new pan-European lake association (European Living Lakes Association) under the acronym ELLA, in addition to the EU project "LIFE Blue Lakes". ELLA not only takes up the microplastic issue, but tackles the protection of lakes and wetlands holistically. On September 26 and 27, 2023, an open microplastics conference of "Blue Lakes" and ELLA will take place at Lake Garda - combined with a media trip.
Learn more about LIFE Blue Lakes
Learn more about ELLA
Global Nature Fund (GNF)
Internationale Stiftung für Umwelt und Natur
Udo Gattenlöhner, Geschäftsführer
Fritz-Reichle-Ring 4
78315 Radolfzell, Deutschland
Telefon +49 7732 9995 80