In 2019–2021, we carried out a large-scale field project to study the micro-plastic content of the environment. 77 samples were taken from the water, soil, snow, and ditch and bottom sediments in the two-year project.
The project aimed to collect information on the spread and prevalence of microplastics in various environments. For the project, seven urban, transport and recycling business sites in three different locations were selected as monitoring sites. The project was implemented for Finnish Tyre Recycling Ltd.
We planned the sampling and prepared a sampling plan. The samples were analysed using Apila Group’s identification method in the company’s quality laboratory in Lehmo. All samples were examined for amounts of tyre-derived and other microplastic particles per kilogram (soil and sediment samples, dry weight) or litre of the sample (water and snow samples). The particle size identified from the samples was 0.1–5 mm.
Both tyre-derived and other microplastics were found in all sample types (water, soil, snow, sediment) and locations. Recycling activities were not found to affect the presence of tyre-based microplastics in the environment. Non-tyre-derived microplastics were more prevalent and more widespread in the sites studied.
In the identification-based method developed by Apila Group, the detected microplastic particles are identified and counted. The analysis method is suitable, for example, as a self-monitoring sample for companies, for background studies of construction sites or for indicating a regional point source. The method is the first method for determining microplastics suitable for commercial use in Finland. In addition, the method is one of the first in the world to distinguish tyre-derived microplastics from other microplastics.
Read more about the project https://www.apilagroup.fi/en/projects/microplastics-recycling/
Read more about the microplastics analysis service https://www.apilagroup.fi/en/determination-of-microplastics/