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CEAB-CSIC and Ercros sign an agreement to carry out a plastic biodegradation experiment in rivers from the mountain

This is a key experiment of Plastic0Pyr project and it will evaluate the degradation of plastic materials, bioplastics and natural materials abandoned in rivers from the mountain. Both parties trust in creating synergies that will allow them to tighten relationships and secure future collaborations in environmental preservation research.

The Centre d’estudis Avançats de Blanes (CEAB-CSIC) and the chemical company Ercros have signed a collaboration agreement to provide knowledge in benefit of environmental protection inside the framework of Plastic0Pyr project.

The agreement’s goal is to carry out an experiment to evaluate the degradation of plastics, bioplastics and natural materials in rivers from the mountain. In this project, the institutions involved are CEAB-CSIC, the Universitat de Girona and the Université Clermont Auvergne, who will be coordinating the activity.

Both Ercros and CEAB-CSIC are very interested in this collaboration and wish that it represents an opportunity to tighten relationships and increase cooperation in research and technological development in the field of environmental preservation.

On one hand, for this project, Ercros contributes with the study materials and their R&D resources to distinguish the materials’ physical and chemical changes once they are abandoned in nature. On the other hand, CEAB-CSIC takes care of the biological part of the project, that is, to observe how organisms colonize those abandoned materials.

The experiment wants to study the degree of degradation of samples from different materials of plastic and bioplastic, as well as natural materials (dead leaves and wood) that will be placed in a river section close to Setcases. Moreover, microorganisms formed will be studied and changes in the river’s capacity to collect nutrients will be measured.

The experiment will serve both, to get to know better the relationship between rivers and plastics, and to have an idea of how human beings can change river ecosystems.

The sign of the agreement is comprised inside the Plastic0Pyr project, which has as its main objective to sustainably prevent the accumulation of plastics in mountain ecosystems. In order to achieve this goal, it is important not only to know the impact these materials have in river ecosystems, but also know how to inform of it. This decomposition experiment is key to provide knowledge in this aspect. Moreover, it is important to highlight that this is the first time that an experiment of this sort is carried out in cold areas such as the Pyrenees.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Programa INTERREG V-A España-Francia-Andorra (POCTEFA 2014-2020), has cofunded 65% of this project. POCTEFA’s goal is to strengthen the economic and social integration of the border area Spain-France-Andorra. Its grant is concentrated in the development of cross-border economic, social and environmental activities through combined strategies in favour of a sustainable territorial development.

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