Microplastics emissions in the environment associated with mobility

The research project mMEU focuses on the development of a data-based model, which is developed on the basis of environmental data with reference to mobility and thus enables a local determination of microplastic emissions.

Initial situation

Microplastics can be increasingly detected in the environment, although neither their origin nor quantity are known locally. Several recent studies point to an ever-increasing increase in microplastics at various locations in the environment. However, these indications are based only on sampling and extrapolation, and there is a lack of consistent monitoring of emissions based on systematic factors, as is already standard for particulate matter measurements. The lack of data requires closer research into the causes, origin and quantity of microplastics in our environment.

Solution approach

Mobility-related data sources are identified and evaluated with regard to their relevance. Based on this, the model is created and visualized and commercialization opportunities are identified.

Expected result

The overall objective of the project is a digital and data-based model, which is based on environmental data from, among others, the areas of traffic, traffic infrastructure, construction and waste disposal and determines the emissions of microplastics in a model. The procedure will be validated on the basis of several use cases and implemented holistically in one case.

Benefits for the target group

Even if the exact health and ecological consequences cannot yet be fully assessed, the precautionary principle applies here. The improved data basis provides an important input for the performance of public tasks (e.g. in the materials cycle or the waste disposal industry). For economic usability, business cases are created for the stakeholders based on the use cases and further developed with the relevant actors (cities, local and global polluters, insurance companies, residents).