Analysis of microplastics in the environment and foods

WESSLING is one of the few laboratories with the necessary know-how and equipment for analysing microplastics in water and sediments, in foods, beverages or cosmetics. Together with partners from industry and science, our team of experts is driving forwards the status of research on microplastics.

Microplastics in the ocean

Thanks to their outstanding properties, plastics accompany us in our daily lives, whether as a toothbrush in the bathroom in the morning, in the train or car on the way to work, or when shopping in a supermarket.

However, plastics also return to the environment – as tyre wear or thoughtlessly discarded rubbish (littering). Plastic is therefore becoming an increasingly major problem for man and nature: in the environment, the ocean and rivers, plastics break down to form microplastics, particles or plastic particulates measuring one micrometre to five millimetres in size. They contaminate the environment; their effects on flora and fauna are largely unexplored. The most widely used types of plastic include polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET), for example.

Microplastics in water or soil return to our food chain. In the same way, the minute particles of plastic from products such as toothpaste or cosmetics return to the environment – via sewage works, for instance. This is why WESSLING is handling this topic in various research projects and has a department which is specialised in analysing microplastics in our environment and food.

Our services in the field of microplastics analysis:

  • Performance of all analyses: sampling, sample preparation and detection
  • Analysis of microplastics using FTIR microscopy and pyrolysis GC/MS
  • Qualified sampling
  • Project-related development of specific analysis methods for different matrices

Your contact for the topic of microplastics

Jens Reiber
„We are specialised in analysing your samples, such as water, soil, cosmetics and foods, for microplastics. Depending on your requirement, we develop individually tailored methods in our independent laboratories. Feel free to contact me!“
tyre on wet street

Research project initiated by the Ministry of Education and Research

Tracking down tyre wear

Vehicle tyre wear is a source of microplastics that should not be overlooked: globally, there are around 1.3 billion motor vehicles whose tyre wear enters our rivers and oceans via precipitation. We are committed to the "Tyre Wear in the Environment" project with the development, implementation and evaluation of chemical and physical analysis concepts as well as sample analysis.

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logo microplasticarrier

European Union-funded project

Detection of microplastics in waste water

Identifying microplastics faster and more efficiently in the environment using new equipment concepts and analysis methods - this is the declared goal of the partners involved in the EU-funded "MikroPlastiCarrier" project. The WESSLING experts are additionally analysing potentially toxic microplastic particles to enable a better assessment of the risk to the ecosystem as well as man and animals.

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Research project initiated by the Ministry of Education and Research 1 / 2