Plastic and pesticides in agricultural soils – A hazardous combination for groundwater systems and drinking water supplies worldwide?
Plastics are all around us and can be found in almost every object we use every day. Worldwide plastic production has increased dramatically over the past three decades and currently exceeds 322 million tonnes per year. Due to improper handling, 25 per cent of the plastic produced annually (80.5 million tonnes) ends up in the environment, making plastic a global environmental pollutant. The aim of this project is to determine the mobility of plastic particles in agricultural soils and how they contribute to the transport of pesticides to underlying groundwater systems and drinking water supplies. We will develop a new plastic tracer method based on 13 C labelled plastic material, which will allow the detection of sub-micrometer-sized plastic particles in soils.