Film about microplastics

Published: 19 September 2014

A film has been produced about MICRO, an Interreg project looking at levels of microplastic waste in the English Channel and the southern section of the North Sea. The project started in July 2012 and it will be completed later this year. Deltares is working on the research in collaboration with French, English and Belgian research institutes.

MICRO focuses primarily on monitoring with the aim of determining levels of microplastics in the French section of the English Channel and the southern part of the North sea. The study looked to see whether there were any places where large amounts of microplastics have accumulated, in other words ‘hotspots’. Deltares delivered the models that show how the microplastics spread, and we also developed analysis methods.

The researchers conducted lab experiments with algae, shellfish and fish with the aim of determining the impact of microplastics on the lives of marine fauna and the food chain. The socio-economic impact of microplastics on aquaculture with shellfish is also being studied.

The information generated by MICRO can be used to develop tools and interventions for tackling the microplastics problem.

In MICRO, Deltares is working with the research institutes EV-ILVO (the Belgian coordinator of the project), Cefas (UK), Ifremer (France) and CNRS (France). The Institute of Environmental Studies (IVM) of the VU University of Amsterdam conducted the analyses of sediment from the seabed. The project is being co-financed by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment.

Click here for the film ‘ Fate and impact of microplastics in marine ecosystems’.