Skip to content

What is microplastic?

Microplastic is microscopically tiny pieces of plastic from large products or particles of, e.g. cosmetic products that have already been prepared as such. Microplastic also comes off during use and washing, e.g. from clothes and, due to the weather, from house paints. Studies have shown that road transport has been identified as the largest single source of microplastics. Small plastic particles are released from the surfaces of the tires and end up directly in nature or through rainwater wells in water bodies. As sufficiently small particles, the plastic can also pass through, for example, the water purification process and thus drift into the food of domestic animals and humans. Today, microplastics can be found almost everywhere, and the need for reliable monitoring of microplastics is growing.

From an environmental point of view, it is essential to find the best possible total solution to prevent the environmental damage of microplastics. The most significant way is to reduce the use of plastic products and replace them with less harmful products and materials. A good starting point for the operation is also to determine the microplastics from the soil/water body and thus monitor the amount of microplastics and the impact of one’s operations on the environment.

Reliable analysis services for the determination of microplastics

We offer the determination of microplastics from several different sample types. Our method for the determination of microplastics can determine the amount of microplastics with a diameter of 0,05–5 mm in a sample. We have developed an efficient method for analysing the amount of microplastics to separate plastic particles from a sample matrix accurately and reliably.

The method is based on the flotation, digestion and filtration method, selective staining and microscopy developed for different sample types. Identifying and calculating the amount of microplastics is a multi-step method that Apila Group can quickly implement for both individual samples and large sample volumes. Sample processing and analysis are performed in our quality laboratory. 

Microplastics determination method:

  • Sample types
    • soils and sediments
    • snow and water samples
  • Microplastic particle sizes
    • car tyre-derived microplastics 0,15 mm
    • car tyre-derived and other microplastics analysed from the same sample 0,15 mm
    • other than car tyre-derived microplastics 0,05–5 mm
  • Results in an easy-to-use format
    • suitable, for example, as a self-monitoring sample for companies, for background assessments of construction sites or for indicating a regional point source.

In addition to the determination of microplastics, we provide expert assistance in replacing plastics and harmful substances used as plastic additives with alternative materials. Our agile and innovative materials and product development offer excellent opportunities to develop a business based on recycled plastics or alternative, most environmentally friendly materials.

Read about our project made for Finnish Tyre Recycling Ltd.

Contact us for further details!