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Microplastic pollution of the Baltic Sea: New insights into behaviour, sinks and reduction measures

Marco an Microplastc particles on sand
According to model calculations, 67 trillion microplastic particles (most of which result from the degradation of macroplastics) are discharged from urban sources into the Baltic Sea each year. (Photo: IOW / F. Klaeger)

In order to assess the impact of microplastics on the oceans, it is necessary to know their quantity and their behaviour in the sea. So far, this knowledge is still incomplete because of a high analytical effort and high costs. For the Baltic Sea, comprehensive calculations of microplastics emissions are now available for urban pathways. Together with 3D-model simulations they provide new insights into transport, behaviour and deposition of microplastics in the marine environment. The results enable an improved monitoring and provide insights on the effectiveness of potential emission reduction measures. The number one in our cities: the reduction of stormwater overflows.

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