Our company is a partner in the project to identify and reduce micro and nano plastics

Micro- and nanoplastics are everywhere, from glaciers to oceans, from the air we breathe to the food we eat. They have even been found in the human body, in our blood and lungs. They are insidious, resilient, ubiquitous particles that are internationally recognised as 'emerging pollutants'. Micro- and nanoplastics have serious consequences for the environment and organisms, acting as vectors for pathogens and pollutants. Protocols for analysing these substances are not yet standardised and legislation is still being developed.

In January this year, the FESR1018-PlasticFree project was launched with the aim of identifying and quantifying the distribution of different forms and types of plastics in water (rivers and sediments, lakes, rainfall, groundwater, drinking water, bioaccumulation in invertebrates and fish), as well as finding ways to increase the reduction of these pollutants in wastewater treatment plants (influent and effluent analyses and in sewage sludge) through the use of prototypes. These objectives will be achieved through the interdisciplinary expertise of the partnership, for the benefit of the population, the environment and the territory of the province.

The project will run for 3 years, from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2026.

As early as March 2023, the project partners Eco Reseach (lead partner), Eurac Research, Ecocenter Spa, ARA Pustertal Spa, and Obrist Srl, together with our company ATZWANGER AG/SpA, submitted a project proposal entitled ”PlasticFree – Harmful, widespread, and non-biodegradable: Detection and reduction of micro- and nanoplastics in the waters of the Province of Bolzano”. This application was submitted in response to the 1st Call for Proposals - Priority 1 "Smart" - Specific objective "1.1 Development and expansion of research and innovation capacities and the introduction of advanced technologies" published within the framework of the ERDF Programme 2021-2027.

The Autonomous Province of Bolzano has approved the submitted project for co-financing by the ERDF for a total cost of €1,217,937.02, with a maximum grant of €971,685.82, by means of Decree No. 18465/2023 of the Director of the Office for European Integration.

The Biological Laboratory of the Provincial Agency for the Environment and Climate Protection is also involved in the project as a non-funded partner.

A website dedicated to the EFRE1018-PlasticFree project will soon be available, providing more detailed information on the objectives, activities and results of the project.