Microplastics in the environment

Plastic has become an integral part of our everyday life. However, plastic waste, including microplastics, leads to ecological and health problems. Still little is known about the magnitude of the problem. Eawag is therefore investigating the effects of microplastics in water and bodies of water and is developing solutions to reduce microplastic contamination.

There is a lot of plastic waste in the environment and in our waters: beverage bottles, plastic bags, packaging, straws and much more. Less well visible to the naked eye, but nevertheless no less common, are what are known as microplastics. This page provides information about what exactly microplastics are and what quantities occur in Swiss waters.


September 8, 2020

Process Engineer Adriano Joss from Eawag water research institute has been working for many years on wastewater treatment plants and the removal of micropollutants from water. Together with Ralf Kägi, Head of the Eawag Particle Laboratory, he has compiled the current status of knowledge on microplastics. In an interview, he presents the most important findings. We have recently posted detailed information on the website “Microplastics in the environment”.

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February 4, 2019

More than 98% of the smallest plastic particles from sewers are retained in sludge. Researchers have been able to prove this by incorporating the precious metal palladium as a tracer in artificial nanoplastics. This innovative method has great potential for keeping track of the behaviour of nanoplastics in technical systems as well as in environmental situations. Read more


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Dr. Ralf KägiTel. +41 58 765 5273Send Mail
Dr. Adriano JossTel. +41 58 765 5408Send Mail
Prof. Dr. Kristin SchirmerHead of departmentTel. +41 58 765 5266Send Mail
Dr. Alexandra KrollTel. +41 58 765 5487Send Mail
What are microplastics
How microplastics get into the environment
Analysis of microplastics
Removal of microplastics
Microplastics in Swiss water
Microplastics and drinking water
Microplastics and wastewater from roads
Ecotoxicological and Humantoxicological effects of microplastics


Last Name, First Name, Telephone, MailDepartmentLocation
Dr. Kägi, Ralf
+41 58 765 5273, Send Mail
Process EngineeringDübendorf
Dr. Joss, Adriano
+41 58 765 5408, Send Mail
Process EngineeringDübendorf
Dr. Kroll, Alexandra
+41 58 765 5487, Send Mail
Ecotox CentreDübendorf
Prof. Dr. Schirmer, Kristin
+41 58 765 5266, Send Mail
Environmental ToxicologyDübendorf
Dr. Contzen, Nadja
+41 58 765 6892, Send Mail
Environmental Social SciencesDübendorf
PD Dr. Hofstetter, Thomas
+41 58 765 5076, Send Mail
Environmental ChemistryDübendorf
Prof. Dr. Hollender, Juliane
+41 58 765 5493, Send Mail
Environmental ChemistryDübendorf
Prof. Holzner, Markus
+41 44 739 29 48, Send Mail
Surface Waters Research & Management
Prof. Dr. Ingold, Karin
+41 58 765 5676, Send Mail
Environmental Social SciencesDübendorf
Dr. Tlili, Ahmed
+41 58 765 5330, Send Mail
Environmental ToxicologyDübendorf
Vollenweider, Stefan
+41 58 765 5427, Send Mail
Environmental Social SciencesDübendorf
Prof. Dr. Wehrli, Bernhard
+41 58 765 2117, Send Mail
Surface Waters Research & ManagementKastanienbaum

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