Analysis of microplastics in the environment and foods

WESSLING is one of the few laboratories with the necessary know-how and equipment for analysing microplastics in water and sediments, in foods, beverages or cosmetics. Together with partners from industry and science, our team of experts is driving forwards the status of research on microplastics.

Microplastics in the ocean

Thanks to their outstanding properties, plastics accompany us in our daily lives, whether as a toothbrush in the bathroom in the morning, in the train or car on the way to work, or when shopping in a supermarket.

However, plastics also return to the environment – as tyre wear or thoughtlessly discarded rubbish (littering). Plastic is therefore becoming an increasingly major problem for man and nature: in the environment, the ocean and rivers, plastics break down to form microplastics, particles or plastic particulates measuring one micrometre to five millimetres in size. They contaminate the environment; their effects on flora and fauna are largely unexplored. The most widely used types of plastic include polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET), for example.

Microplastics in water or soil return to our food chain. In the same way, the minute particles of plastic from products such as toothpaste or cosmetics return to the environment – via sewage works, for instance. This is why WESSLING is handling this topic in various research projects and has a department which is specialised in analysing microplastics in our environment and food.

Our services in the field of microplastics analysis:

  • Performance of all analyses: sampling, sample preparation and detection
  • Analysis of microplastics using FTIR microscopy and pyrolysis GC/MS
  • Qualified sampling
  • Project-related development of specific analysis methods for different matrices


  • The European Union commits to adopt by 12 January 2024 a methodology for measuring microplastics for monitoring purposes.
  • By 12 January 2029, the European Commission will present a report on the potential health risks and hazards caused by the presence of microplastics, pharmaceuticals, and endocrine disruptors in water intended for human consumption (EDCH).

Your contact for the topic of microplastics

Remy Reboulet

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