Headimage abstract

Updated model on discharge pathways

In 2013, Conversio Market & Strategy GmbH, on BKV's behalf and supported by German and Austrian plastics industry associations, developed a new calculation model to estimate the amounts of improperly disposed-of plastic waste entering the oceans entitled "From Land to Sea - Model for the documentation of land-sourced plastic litter". This methodological approach, recognised in expert circles, to systematically record, structure and quantitatively assess the most important discharge pathways and sources of improperly disposed-of plastics into the oceans, has now been updated and is available in its 5th version.

The "From Land to Sea" model was revised and further developed last year on the basis of new data and findings. For example, new findings on pellet losses have been incorporated into the current report. In addition, the scope of the model has been expanded: In addition to micro- and macroplastics, "other micropolymers" are also included for the first time. This took into account the facts and findings that had emerged from the BKV studies "Plastics in the Environment" and "Special Report on Pellet Losses".
"Other micropolymers" do not belong to plastics in the sense of polymeric materials according to official definitions. Thus, this category includes microparticles of various types such as abrasion from tyres, emissions from sports fields and playgrounds, paints and varnishes, and road markings. These various products are also included in microplastics in many studies and, in terms of quantity, are considered an important source of plastic or plastic waste in the environment. By including these discharges in the "From Land to Sea" model, the current state of scientific debate is taken into account.
Together with the present "Material Flow Analysis of Plastics in Germany 2021", which collects data on the production, processing and recycling of plastics, including the use of recyclates and the reuse of by-products in Germany, and the study "Plastics in the Environment", which documents the discharges and fate of plastics in the terrestrial and aquatic environment, this provides a comprehensive overall picture for plastics, from their production, use, disposal after use and recycling of plastic waste, right the way through to discharges of improperly disposed-of plastics into the environment. The "From Land to Sea" model focuses on discharges into the oceans and now, through the update, follows on seamlessly from the "Plastics in the Environment" study.
The report on the updated model can be ordered free of charge via the BKV website under Studies (in German). Click here to order: Studien - BKV GmbH (
The contact person for this topic is Stephanie Cieplik


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