Van plastics in de Nederlandse landbouw naar microplastics in het aquatisch milieu
: Interventies om de emissies van microplastics terug te dringen. Onderzoek uitgevoerd in opdracht van Open Universiteit/Radboud Universiteit, Heerlen, NL.

Translated title of the thesis: From Plastics in Dutch Agriculture to Microplastics in the Aquatic Environment.: Interventions to Reduce Microplastics Emissions. Research commissioned by Open Universiteit/Radboud Universiteit, Heerlen, NL.
  • A. Bruinsma
  • I. Missiaen
  • J Muijzers
  • S. Suiding

Student thesis: Bachelor's Thesis


This research focuses on the issue of microplastic pollution in agriculture, with an emphasis on identifying primary sources, transportation, and mitigation through biodegradable alternatives and mitigation strategies. Microplastics are created both primary, through intentional addition to products such as fertilizers and seeds, and secondarily, through the breakdown of agricultural plastics. The inventory of microplastic sources used in agriculture identifies LD-PE, PP and PVC as the most used plastics, with fertilizers as the main source of microplastics. Microplastics undergo continuous movement by wind, water, and organisms, with some being transported to the aquatic environment. The designed quantitative model estimates that approximately 10% of microplastic deposited on agricultural land ultimately ends up in the aquatic environment. Assessment criteria, such as hazardous compounds and degradation time, are applied to prioritize biodegradable plastics. Criteria are established for other mitigation measures, in which the weighting factors of emission volume, feasibility and urgency play a role. Priority is given to specific applications, fertilizers, and animal feed packaging. Banning intentional microplastics and limiting single-use plastics are identified as effective strategies, especially in applications such as fertilizer and animal feed packaging. This study provides insight into the presence of microplastics from agriculture and proposes effective strategies to reduce this contamination.
Date of Award27 Feb 2024
Original languageDutch
SupervisorJikke van Wijnen (Supervisor), Sya Hoeke (Co-assessor) & Angelique Lansu (Examiner)


  • Plastic
  • landbouw
  • microplastics
  • processen
  • mitigerende maatregelen

Master's Degree

  • Master Environmental Sciences

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