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InRePlast – Plastics in the environment

Environmental political instruments to reduce the plastic pollution of inland waters via drainage systems

Through their actions, private households and companies are constantly discharging plastics into wastewater and thus into drainage systems, either directly or via public transport routes. Currently there is uncertainty about the nature and quantity of these plastics. At the same time, the legal instrumentation regarding the input of plastics into the drainage systems shows considerable deficits. In connection with this, there is very little knowledge about how to reduce the inputs by addressing consumers and companies in a custom-fit way.

Aim of the project

In this project, the amount and type of plastics discharged into the drainage systems within one year will be recorded in four German municipalities and a standard for corresponding investigations will be developed. On this basis, an extrapolation for Germany will be made by means of material flow analysis. With regard to the regular deficits, instruments were developed to reduce the input of plastics in combination of legally based and behavioral economic analyses.

A selection of the corresponding instruments will be evaluated in empirical studies and tested by means of field experiments in companies and households. Direct and indirect overall effects of such an instrumentation will then be modeled in multi-agent systems. On this basis, target group specific “Policy Briefs” will be developed to inform policy makers, practical users and associations about the practical implementation options for reducing and measuring the input of plastics.

The project is implemented in close cooperation with the four municipalities. The aim of the project is to obtain, for the first time, an overview of the input of plastics via the drainage systems into running waters, to develop instruments based on scientific knowledge about behavior and to make the relevant findings available to policymakers, practical users and associations.


Dr.-Ing. Kristoffer Ooms
+49 241 80 2 68 22 / E-Mail


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)


German Aerospace Center e. V. (DLR)


Fachgebiet Wirtschaftspolitik; Innovation und Entrepreneurship Universität Kassel; Arbeitsgruppe Umweltpolitik; Fachgebiet Umwelt- und Energierecht; Hochschule Darmstad


Stadt Aachen; Stadt Stolberg; Gemeinde Simmerath; Gemeinde Roetgen; Wasserverband Eifel-Ruhr / WVER; BKV GmbH; Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e. V. / IK; PlasticsEurope Deutschland e. V.; Kunststoff-Zentrum SKZ; Umweltbundesamt; DHB – Netzwerk Haushalt; BildungsCent e. V.; Prof. Dr. Frank Beckenbach, Cusanus Hochschule, Bernkastel-Kues