17 September 2020

Chemicals in bioplastics not safer than those in conventional plastics

So-called “bioplastics” are marketed as an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional, petroleum-based plastics. They can be made from renewable feedstock, might be bio-degradable or even both.

14 September 2020

Competition for unpackaged solutions

„Ausgepackt“ is a nationwide competition initiated by the youth online magazine www.LizzyNet.de and the Wissenschaftsladen Bonn e.V. targeting teenagers and young adults between 12 and 23 years.

18 June 2020

Prevention of plastic waste by multi-actor partnerships

How do different actors need to work together to avoid plastic waste? What do unpackaged stores need to be successful? How well do bag stations work, where passers-by can borrow fabric bags? How can a company save transport packaging? PlastX contributed case studies  to a compilation of best practices regarding prevention of plastic waste of the PREVENT alliance.

You can find the study here

27 April 2020

Unpacked: Webinar on Lizzy Net

PlastX-Researcher Tobias Haider will give a webinar for Teachers and Students at LizzyNet on alternative packaging companies and materials such as bioplastics. Tuesday, 19 May, 10 am.

24 April 2020

Plastic reduction as everyday endeavour

New blog post about the political potentials in the apparent privatization of responsibility for plastic reduction is online at Soziologieblog.

16 January 2020

30 years ISOE

Conference: Shaping the Social-Ecological Future today

On Thursday 28th November the conference for the 30th anniversary of the ISOE took place at the Stadthaus in Frankfurt.

7 October 2019

30 years producer market Konstablerwache

For the 30th anniversary of the producer market at Konstablerwache in Frankfurt, PlastX collaborated with Ernährungsrat Frankfurt.

17 September 2019

Plastic consumer products contain harmful and unknown substances

The PlastX research group detects thousands of chemicals in plastic products—three out of four products contain harmful substances.

1 July 2019

Plastic recycled? – How well the recycling economy actually works

Translation from the German version originally published in Knackpunkt, April 2019, Vol. 2 (27)

17 April 2019

Lecture Series: Living in the Plastic Age

In the summersemester 2019 the lecture series Living in the Plastic Age. Perspectives from the Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences will take place at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt.

19 March 2019

How much packaging do we need?

Translation from the German version originally published in Knackpunkt, February 2019, Vol. 1 (27)

18 March 2019

Germany: World champion in packaging? How can a conscious use of plastic be achieved throughout Germany?

Fruits roll loosely over the conveyor belt at the grocery checkout. Fresh bread lies in the cotton bag. A darkened milk bottle jingles against yoghurt glasses. Silke Bröhl gets astonished glances at her shopping regularly.

5 February 2019

From zero waste lifestyle to a garbage-free society? – The limits of waste avoidance in a growth-based society

Lukas Sattlegger and Luca Raschewski

Translation from the German version originally published in Blog Postwachstum.

15 January 2019

Reflections on Sustainable Food Distribution Systems

Transdisciplinary collaboration with societal actors is a major trend in sustainability research. However, looking at the concrete practice regarding scientific conferences and publications, … 

4 December 2018

Food Democracy Now !

Lukas from PlastX reports from the Second Congress of the German-speaking Food Councils from 23rd to 25th November in Frankfurt/Main. …

14 November 2018

Getting a blue glimpse of the Our Ocean Conference

We had the chance to visit the Our Ocean Conference, which took place this year on October 29. and 30. in Bali, Indonesia. The conference, …

5 November 2018

“WWF interview with PlastX researcher Heide”

Within the scope of WWF’s hot topic “plastic flood”, the WWF interviewed our researcher Heide on her work on marine litter prevention in Vietnam. Heide talks about…

24 October 2018

“Planet Plastic”

“Planet Plastic” is the title of the latest WWF magazine (04/2018). The magazine’s main focus is on marine plastic litter, …

26 September 2018

Wir suchen eine/n Studentische/n Mitarbeiter/in für 10 Std./Woche

mit Interesse an empirischer Sozialforschung.

Inhaltliche Schwerpunkte der Arbeit sind die Unterstützung bei der Auswertung eines quantitativen Fragebogens zu Plastikmüll in Asien, die Aufbereitung von quantitativen und qualitativen Daten mit MAXQDA und SPSS/Prism, …

19 July 2018

Plastics of the future? The impact of biodegradable polymers on the environment and on society

Our latest review on biodegradable polymers. Biodegradable polymers like poly(lactic acid) are seen as a suitable alternative to commodity plastics in order to minimize the impact of plastics on the environment after disposal.

19 July 2018

Citizens University’s event “Life in the Plastic Age – can we use plastics in a sustainable way?”

On June 28th, the PlastX group hosted the Frankfurt Citizens University’s event “Life in the Plastic Age – how can we use plastics in a sustainable way?” at the Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE).

25 April 2018

Summer School “Brilliant Minds for Social-Ecological Transformations”

Call for Participation: We are thrilled to announce the summer school “Brilliant Minds for Social-Ecological Transformations” organized by PlastX researchers together with the ISOE – Institute of Social-Ecological Research!

5 March 2018

Superficial or Substantial: Why Care about Microplastics in the Anthropocene?

In his recent Viewpoint in Environmental Science and Technology, G. Allen Burton asks why “fellow scientists continue to focus on superficial microplastics risks” as “low exposure concentrations dictate there could be no risk”.

28 February 2018

Getting a taste of researching: My two weeks in PlastX – Insights from an intern

You want to learn more about our work? ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research offers the opportunity for pupils to complete an internship. This two weeks internship supports career choices and gives insights in the daily work routine: what’s science and what means inter- and transdisciplinary research.

21 February 2018

Vietnam’s island Phu Quoc: What’s left from the paradise?

Vietnam gained dubious fame: Its one of the top five countries contributing most to marine litter. So, what’s the case? Insights from my first field study: The case of Phu Quoc.

15 December 2017

Marine Plastic Pollution: The Discovery of an Environmental Problem

Johanna and Carolin have published an article in the special issue “Seas and Oceans” of Aus Politik- und Zeitgeschichte (APuZ) discussing how science has discovered the phenomenon of garbage patches in the oceans and how microplastics are negotiated at the interface of science and society.

23 November 2017

Understanding the Risks of Microplastics – now published

The diagnosis that we are living in a world-risk society formulated by Ulrich Beck twenty years ago (Beck 1996) has lost nothing of its power, especially against the background of the Anthropocene debate. “Global risks” have been identified which are caused by human activities, technology and modernization processes. Microplastics are a byproduct of exactly these modernization processes, being distributed globally by physical processes like ocean currents, and causing effects far from their place of origin.

31 July 2017

The Shifting and Fixed Identities of Plastics

Meandering 26 miles through southeastern Pennsylvania, Darby Creek flows into the Delaware River just west of Philadelphia International Airport. I first visited Darby Creek with Professor Helen K. White and a dozen other undergraduate students from Haverford College as part of a chemistry lab intensive course.

31 July 2017

Marine Litter: a Hot Topic in Ocean Governance

A literature study on marine litter governance by Ashley Hedger.

The ocean may be vast, but it does have it limits to how much overexploitation and pollution it can take, and such damages could be irreversible.

18 April 2017

„A Plastic Ocean“ – Film Screening and Discussion

A Plastic Ocean is one of the latest documentaries on the plastic pollution in the environment.  PlastX in collaboration with the Orfeos Erben Cinema is screening the movie and discussing it afterwards. Join us on Thursday 4th of May, 8:15pm at Orfeos Erben Cinema in Frankfurt.

13 April 2017

How Packaging Bridges Production and Consumption (4)

in Globalized Food Supply Systems – Social Dimension (4). In the last two weeks I spoke about the spatial and temporal differentiation of modern food supply systems. Now I will turn to the social consequence of this differentiation.

5 April 2017

How Packaging Bridges Production and Consumption (3)

in Globalized Food Supply Systems – Temporal Dimension (3). In 21st century food markets, the differentiation of production and consumption practices is not only spatial but also temporal.

29 March 2017

How Packaging Bridges Production and Consumption (2)

in Globalized Food Supply Systems – Spatial Dimension (2). Industrial food supply is characterized by globalized markets and increasing food miles. Modern supermarkets provide foods from all over the world, all year long. As these foods need to be transported, increasing physical distance generates need for technical solutions to ensure safe transportation of fragile goods. Packaging is central to many of these transportation practices. 

22 March 2017

How Packaging Bridges Production and Consumption (1) Overview

 in Globalized Food Supply Systems – An Overview (1). Is packaging the central connecting device in globalized food networks? This four-part essay will discuss how packaging based practices construct spatial, temporal and social bridges in differentiated food chains.

14 March 2017

Responsibility for Eco-friendly Consumption

Who is responsible in matters of environmentally friendly consumption? – A guest article by “Plastic Diary“-blogger Andreas Arnold:

6 March 2017

European Discourses on Plastics

Master thesis on EU plastic waste management by Magdalena Langer, following her internship with the PlastX research group:

31 January 2017

Interview in Technology Review

Carolin Völker, PlastX co-leader, in the interview with Technology Review about microplastics.

14 December 2016

Unnecessary Packaging Waste

Which (unnecessary) packaging frustrates consumers and why? What are responses from producers and suppliers? The consumer association “Verbraucherzentrale Nordrhein-Westfalen” ran a campaign on occasion of the European Week for Waste Reduction 2016 to address these questions.

12 December 2016

Clothing from Ocean Plastic

With headlines like “Clothing from ocean plastic” companies indicate that they turn marine debris into new products and seem to demonstrate their eco-friendliness and sustainability. Recycling of plastics into clothing is not new: Since more than 15 years used plastic bottles have been utilized to produce new textiles; but over the years technologies got better and now even shoes can be made from recycled plastic. Is this media-effective topic only exploited for marketing purposes or does ”clothing from ocean plastic” really help to tackle global plastic pollution?

23 November 2016

The European Week for Waste Reduction in Frankfurt

The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) aims to mobilize actors to implement awareness raising actions on waste reduction, product reuse and materials recycling. It takes place from the 19th to the 27th of November 2016 across Europe. This years’ Prevention Thematic Day is revolving around “Packaging Waste Reduction – Use Less Packaging!”

26 October 2016

PlastX Kick-off Workshop with Stakeholders

On the 20th of October, PlastX welcomed their project partners at the Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE). The Kick-off Workshop was the starting point for close transdisciplinary collaboration between science and societal practice.

18 October 2016

PlastX-Workshop at the Convention on Environmental Sociology

What role does sociology play in research about social-ecological transformations? The 13th convention of the junior group “Environmental Sociology” (NGU) took place in Münster this year and PlastX featured a two-hour workshop.

20 September 2016

Announcement: Kick-off Workshop in October

Now that the newly formed PlastX research team is ready to take off, we are inviting partners from science and society to a first come-together for a kick-off workshop on the 20th of October.

10 September 2016

PlastX Scientists at the SETAC Conference

As every year, at the beginning of September, it was time for the annual meeting of the SETAC GLB (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry).

19 July 2016

Getting Started

We are very pleased to announce that the PlastX group was completed this July and immediately got involved in the plastic topic.

1 July 2016

Press Release: New Research Project „PlastX“: How to Sustainably Deal with Plastic?

Today this press release has been published:

Plastic is part of our daily lives. It can be used in various way, it is robust and cheap to produce. But plastic is mainly made from mineral oil and as a waste product it pollutes the environment. Which role does this ambivalent material play within society and what are its environmental impacts? The junior research group “PlastX” which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) investigates how it may be possible to sustainably deal with plastic.


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