Helena Ruffell

 Little is known about microplastics in the terrestrial environment. This project will investigate the impacts of microplastics in productive soils, namely horticultural soil, green waste/compost, and biosolids.

This project will determine 1) the behaviour of microplastics in soil, 2) the concentration of microplastics (and macroplastics!) in these productive soils, 3) the impacts microplastics may have on soil, microbial, and plant health and interaction with common horticultural contaminants.

Sampling of horticultural soils will be based in the Nelson/Tasman region.

This project leads on from my Master’s project which looked at if wastewater treatment plants were a significant source of microplastics to the environment in Canterbury (which we found that they are). The masters study sampled WWTP influent and effluent. Keep an eye out for the paper!

The infamous ‘poo-chino’ – a result of biosolids method development

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