journal book on a desk with

Microplastics In Europe’s Freshwater Ecosystems: from sources to solutions (LimnoPlast) Synthetic polymers have become an indispensable part of our daily life.

Besides the indisputable benefits of plastic materials, major concerns arise about plastic leakage to the environment. Small plastic particles so-called microplastics (MP) have been detected ubiquitously in various ecosystems around the globe where they are bioavailable for a broad range of organisms may negatively affect ecosystems and consequently society and economy.

While there is political motivation to solve the MP issue most activities focus on marine environments. However, emerging research demonstrates that freshwater ecosystems are highly affected by MP pollution and are a major MP pathway to the oceans.

The LimnoPlast project addresses this issue by devoting its research and training program to MP in Europe’s freshwater ecosystems. LimnoPlast challenges traditional barriers between disciplines and sectors and combines environmental, technical and social sciences in order to tackle the MP problem from its sources to potential solutions in a holistic approach.


  • Train a new type of scientists able to tackle the complex plastics issue holistically and contribute to Europe’s innovation and Circular Economy capacity. Working at the interface of three usually very distant disciplines, they will promote a step change in how we deal with this and future environmental challenges.
  • Provide the first comprehensive assessment of the sources and impacts of freshwater MP based on the analysis of three major urban areas as hotspots of plastic pollution.
  • Innovate technological solutions to the plastics issue, including novel processes to remove MP from municipal and industrial wastewater as well as bio-degradable, environmentally sound polymers.
  • Promote societal change by understanding the economic, legislative and social context of freshwater MP.
  • Transform science into a set of specific solutions, including (I) the prioritization of actions based on the sources and impacts of MP, development of (II) better processes and polymers, (III) risk communication strategies and societal interventions, (IV) effective policy and legislative interventions.
  • Transfer the LimnoPlast outcomes to European decision makers, stakeholders and the public to enable and promote action on freshwater MP using an innovative communication and dissemination strategy.

You can find further information on who is involved in LimnoPlast, and what research will be undertaken here

 Involved team members

logo of LimnoPlast project

Eu emblems for LimnoPlast project