The presence and effects of plastics in the aquatic environment have raised considerable concerns over the past years. Governmental agencies, water managers, food safety authorities and plastic producers face uncertainties with respect to abundance and effects of plastics in the environment. This project aims at (a) developing technologies to detect nano- and microplastics in freshwater environmental samples, (b) developing technologies to assess fate, hazards and effects of plastic in the freshwater environment including the possible abatement options, and (c) providing a prognostic assessment of the present and future risks of plastic in the Dutch freshwater environment. The novel detection and transport modelling technologies will be utilised for monitoring purposes and to identify sources of plastic in order to optimize emission reduction policies. The assessment of fate, effects and risk will assist sustainable production of plastics and will inform policymakers and the public on the urgency of the problem.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.