Day 0

Day 0


The experiment just started! Day 0, we started sampling the water for the analysis of the nutrients and after that, at 8.00 am with the sampling of the sea surface microlayer… I thought we would have made a simple sampling with a syringe or something similar but… we used a glass plate and a scrubber! How does it work? We have to dip the glass plate in the water up to a line ( 30 cm below the surface) and remove it slowly, so that a film of organic material sticks to the plate. Then we have to wait for a moment to let the biggest drops fall down and try to collect as many drops of water attached to the glass plate as possible and transfer it to a bottle! It is not so easy as it could seem, because we had to collect almost 300 ml and we did 70 dips of the glass plate for each mesocosm! The first sampling was very exhausting… But it was just the beginning! Then we collected the bulk water from each mesocosm, almost 5 liters, enough for all the analysis… and what about the microplastics? In the afternoon, we started the real treatment: Luisa added the same amount of polystyrene microplastic particles in 3 of the 6 mesocosms!! Almost 1 300 000 pieces of 30 µm for each one! We’ll see their effects in the mesocosms in the next days.

For the nutrients, P04 and NH4 values aren’t very high, but they’re enough for a real situation and we decided we won’t add nutrients and see the natural development of the phytoplankton bloom…Let’s get the experiment started!


Preparations at HCMR

23rd of May

The adventure has started! Today was a very hard day at HCMR but really important for our experiment: we prepared and cleaned all the equipment for the experiment with diluted HCl and water! It seems easy, but to wash each tank at least 3 people were needed!
And in the afternoon we placed  the very protagonists of this experiment: mesocosms! They are not so little, they seem like big baskets containing around 3000 litres… of sea water! and 3 of them, microplastics that we will add! Everything is going good at HCMR, even if we had some last doubts before the very beginning and some little problems that were easily solved. Besides such things are just a routine for scientists! All the researchers are very gentle and nice with us, we had so much fun during the whole day in the lab! And we are also trying to learn some Greek words…
Meanwhile we enjoy the Greek cuisine!





New experiment!

Check out our new page MESO-Plastic Experiment @Cretacosmos, Greece! We are on the field getting ready for the start. Chiara will take care of updating the page with news and pictures! You can check it out!


BSc Thesis on Microplastics in PCCPs in Italy!

On November 14th, 2016, BSc student Carmenzita D’Atri successfully defended her thesis for the BSc Degree in “Prevention techniques in the environment and working places”. Thesis title: “Study on Microplastics in Consumer’s Products in Italy“. This is the first study of this kind in Italy: Carmenzita conducted a survey in popular supermarkets in Siena looking for micro plastics-free and micro plastics-full personal care and consumer’s products. Carmenzita started drafting the first Italian review of products for the international campaign Beat the Microbead. Her BSc thesis was sponsored by EU-project POSEIDOMM. Thanks Carmenzita for the great job and hope to find many more motivated people following your first step!


Plastic microbeads will be banned in Canada, effective mid-2018

OTTAWA – The federal government says it will ban the sale of shower gels, toothpaste and facial scrubs containing plastic microbeads, effective July 1, 2018.

A notice published Friday in the Canada Gazette serves as final notice on the long-running environmental complaint, and it sets Canada on a timetable that follows the United States for removing the tiny pollutant from Canadian waters.

Continue reading here (Globalnews Canada)



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