Riverine plastic transport



Plastic pollution in rivers, lakes, estuaries, and seas is a growing threat for ecosystem health and human livelihood. Reliable data and fundamental understanding of plastic quantities, types, and transport mechanisms are crucial to optimize prevention and reduction strategies.

In our work we focus on the following:

  • Development of field techniques to consistently quantify plastic in and around rivers;
  • Fundamental research on driving mechanisms of plastic mobilization, transport, and retention;
  • Exploring the use of space-borne and close-range remote sensing for (automated) plastic monitoring;
  • Investigating the role of extreme events, including floods, on plastic transport;
  • Model development to estimate global river plastic transport and emissions into the ocean;
  • Capacity building among governments, practitioners, academics, and other stakeholders on plastic monitoring methods and strategies;

Project areas

  • Rhine and Meuse rivers, the Netherlands;
  • Saigon, Mekong and Red rivers, Vietnam;
  • Odaw river, Ghana;
  • Indonesia;
  • Switzerland;
  • Amsterdam, the Netherlands;

- Unfortunately, your cookie settings do not allow videos to be displayed. - check your settings

Key publications

  • Introduction to river plastics | Plastic debris in rivers - Emmerik - 2020 - WIREs Water - Wiley Online Library
  • Most plastics do not enter the ocean | https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frwa.2021.786936/full
  • Role of floods on plastic mobilization | Plastic in global rivers: are floods making it worse? - IOPscience
  • Global river plastic emissions into the ocean | More than 1000 rivers account for 80% of global riverine plastic emissions into the ocean (science.org)
  • Towards remote sensing of river plastic pollution | Remote Sensing | Free Full-Text | Advancing Floating Macroplastic Detection from Space Using Experimental Hyperspectral Imagery (mdpi.com)
  • Plastic in the Rhine and Meuse rivers | Riverbank macrolitter in the Dutch Rhine–Meuse delta - IOPscience
  • Floating water plants retain up to 80% of all floating macroplastics | Frontiers | Plastic Plants: The Role of Water Hyacinths in Plastic Transport in Tropical Rivers | Environmental Science (frontiersin.org)