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Wageningen World: The river as a plastic reservoir

Published on
March 16, 2021

It is possible that a lot more plastic accumulates in and around rivers than in the sea, thinks Tim van Emmerik, researcher and assistant professor in the Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management chair group. He is doing research that he hopes will allow predictions of where that is likely to happen. ‘Then it can be removed from those specific locations, instead of organizing expensive clean-up operations at sea.’

In October last year Van Emmerik won a Veni grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) for his River Plastic Monitoring project. The goal of this project is to develop a universally applicable monitoring framework with which to calculate the mass balance of plastic waste in the rivers: ‘how much plastic comes into the Netherlands via the rivers, and how much flows out of the country into the sea.’

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