PLANTERASTICS is a group of researchers that are very enthusiastic about microplastic research and they work together at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia under the supervision of Dr. Gabriela Kalčikova.

Microplastics are small plastic particles, from 1 µm to 1000 µm in size. Apart from fragmenting larger pieces of plastic (secondary microplastics), they are also produced in this size range as pre-production pellets or for special applications such as abrasives (primary microplastics). Microplastics have become a truly global problem as they are found virtually everywhere in the world and can therefore interact with and affect various organisms.

The mainly focus of the PLANTERASTICS group is on freshwater microplastics, their interaction with floating plants, and the development of a phytoremediation strategy to remove microplastics from freshwaters. However, their work also includes:

  • Preparation and characterization of environmentally relevant microplastics.
  • The use of advanced analytical methods to characterize and detect microplastics in freshwaters.
  • Environmental aging, development of biofilm, and evaluation of microplastics properties.
  • Adsorption of pollutants on the microplastic surface and their consequential leaching.
  • Interaction of microplastics with freshwater organisms, the main focus is on vascular plants.
  • The fate and behavior of microplastics in laboratory constructed wetland.
Duckweed exposed to microplastics from tires.