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Wageningen University

Plastic Pollution in Soil, Water & Air: From Small Particles to Great Solutions

Wageningen University via edX


The Menace of Widespread Plastic Pollution
Today almost everyone has heard about the omnipresence of plastics. Plastic production has reached a critical level, infiltrating every aspect of our lives, from household items to industrial products. Not only do we find plastic litter in our cities and on our beaches. Plastic ends up as tiny particles in our food, drinking water and the air we breathe.

With that, plastic pollution has become a severe threat to our environment and health. The biggest problem is related to the degradation of plastic materials into micro plastics and nano plastics. These small particles easily move between different environmental systems.

Explore the life cycle of Plastic Particles
Our renowned experts will take you along for a deep dive into the life cycle of plastic:

  • Sources: How plastic products enter the environment from different sources, causing land, air and water pollution;
  • Transport: How plastic waste spreads via the continuous movement of the cycle of plastics;
  • Effects: The effects of micro plastics on the environment, our food chain and human health; and
  • Risks: The risks of plastic pollution and how to assess the extent.

You will learn about how plastic moves through the earth system, breaking down into tiny plastic particles. Understand how these particles enter the air, soil, and water, and how they adversely affect life in all these systems.

Unraveling Plastic: Methods, Insights, and Interactive Learning
Join our team of international experts, like Dr. Esperanza Huerta Lwanga, Dr. Mahrooz Rezaei and Dr. Bart Koelmans. Learn to understand each step of the plastic cycle. Learn how to best study plastic pollution by reviewing different methods, like field research, lab research and computer modelling. Use the course's online videos and lectures, inspiring podcasts, reading materials, and interactive sessions with quizzes.

Solutions: Risk Assessment, Environmental Standards, and Stakeholder Engagement
This course on plastic particles also focuses on finding solutions. To protect our future and make a sustainable world, it's crucial to decrease plastic production and adopt eco-friendly alternatives. You will learn how to assess the risks of plastic pollution and the importance of environmental management standards. Additionally, understand how different stakeholders and interest groups, such as NGOs, play a crucial role in reducing plastic pollution.

For whom is this course?
Are you interested in plastics in the environment? More specifically, are you a professional working in the plastic industry, environmentalist or policy maker?

Broaden your knowledge about plastics and its impact on the environment. Gain an understanding of the possible solutions – from reducing plastic production to the recycling of plastic. Enrol now for this innovative online course on plastic waste reduction!


  1. General introduction
  2. Introduction
  3. Soil
  4. Air
  5. Water
  6. Risk Assessment
  7. Solutions

Taught by

Dr. Esperanza Huerta Lwanga, Dr. Mahrooz Rezaei and Prof. dr. Bart Koelemans


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