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About SoilPlastic

SoilPlastic gives us all a chance to contribute to important research into the impacts of plastics on agricultural soil health.
Plastics have been a useful material for the farming industry in recent years, and are seen to some extent in most activities farmers undertake. This use has, however, led to plastic debris in fields. These plastics break down into ‘micro’ and ‘nano’ plastics, which are small enough to be eaten by many species of wildlife. They can also enter plants, affecting their growth and overall health.
The risks of having these plastics in fields have already been studied, with scientists finding that high levels of microplastics can lead to changes in how soil works. This is critical as over 90% of our food production relies on soil. Plastics have also been found to affect nutrient cycling, plant growth, and soil biodiversity. We don’t yet know what these impacts cost us. In addition to plastics entering our fields, there are also pesticides, veterinary medications and plastic additives (e.g., dyes). We don’t yet know how these other chemicals interact with plastics.
Within the EU research project MINAGRIS (https://www.minagris.eu/) these interactive mechanisms are explored and documented. This App /’SoilPlastic’ motivates and engages various stakeholders to contribute to this process by observing and documenting plastic residues/littering in and on soils, submitting anonymized content to a global database.
MINAGRIS (https://www.minagris.eu/), an EU-funded research project, is building an understanding of the impacts of plastics on the environment, as well as how other chemicals interact with these plastics.
This App, SoilPlastic, gives YOU a chance to contribute to this important research. You can observe and document plastics on agricultural soils. These submissions will be anonymous and will help us to identify how much plastic is present on farms. So next time you’re on a walk, why not upload any plastics you see?

The App is running on the SPOTTERON Citizen Science Platform at www.spotteron.net

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