Scientists are looking at new ways to test how plastics degrade in water, which could be used to trial plastic alternatives.
The Mac2Mic project is investigating whether mesocosms – artificial environments which simulate marine and freshwater systems like oceans and lakes – can be used to test plastic degradation and help develop a standardised method for identifying the age of plastics.
The Forensic Fibres Microplastic Research Group at Staffordshire University is leading the research and has secured investment from the Aquacosm Transnational Access fund for the three-month project.
The team will use specialist equipment at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology Research (NIOO) which recreate natural water environments on a much smaller scale. These artificial aquatic ecosystems, called limnotrons, will allow the scientists to control environmental conditions including UV levels, water volume and type, and temperature.
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