The key messages of the BMBF Research Focus “Plastics in the Environment”contain the most important findings and recommendations from all 20 joint-research projects and seven cross-cutting topics. In ten chapters, the central results are presented and recommendations for various addressees are derived.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) launched the national Research Focus "Plastics in the Environment" in 2017. The aim was to investigate the input, distribution and effects of plastics in the environment and thus obtain an overall picture of the occurrence and behaviour of plastics along their entire life cycle.
A total of 20 joint-research projects with more than 100 participating institutions from science, industry and practice were funded. Their research has made a decisive contribution to further completing the picture with important findings on the sources and sinks of plastics in the environment.
In the process, methods were jointly further developed, research questions differentiated and synergies used to strengthen the exchange of knowledge between the projects and ensure the scientific quality of the results. Existing basic knowledge was expanded and important progress was made in a wide range of areas. From the available findings on complex interrelationships and interdependencies, suitable approaches and measures can be identified and implemented in the future.
As a result of this work, the key messages were compiled, which are structured according to ten key topics and present the central findings and recommendations. It also becomes clear that there is still a great need for action to reduce plastic inputs into the environment, especially at the political level.