Plastics in organic fertilizers of waste management systems

, Steiner Thomas, Zhang Yuanhu, Möller Julia, Löder Martin, Laforsch Christian, Agarwal Seema, Greiner Andreas, Freitag Ruth.

As part of the SFB 1357 – Microplastics and MiKoBo [1], we investigate the formation of macro- and microplastics in technical systems of waste and water management. Necessary for a circular economy is the use of organic fertilizers from waste management plants like biogas and composting plants. Here, for example, organic waste from households, renewable resources, green waste and many more are used as substrate. With the produced organic fertilizers, the plants are an interface to the terrestrial environment. Substrates obtained from organic households and green waste are often contaminated with plastic waste like garbage bags, packages, and other plastics, its fragments entering the environment [2]. The technical systems are implementing different approaches for the preparation of the substrates and the sorting out of foreign materials. Our projects cooperate with fourteen technical plants in Germany, that use different process engineering, substrates and catchment areas. We studied the organic fertilizers from these different plants regarding their contamination with plastic particles. [1] MiKoBo – Mikrokunststoffe in Komposten und Gärprodukten aus Bioabfallverwertungsanlagen und deren Eintrag in Böden erfassen, bewerten, vermeiden (Ministerium für Umwelt, Klima und Energiewirtschaft Baden-Württemberg) [2] Weithmann, N., Möller, J. N., Löder, M. G., Piehl, S., Laforsch, C., & Freitag, R. (2018). Organic fertilizer as a vehicle for the entry of microplastic into the environment. Science Advances, 4(4), eaap8060.

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