The plastics problem can only be solved by using plastics that are safe, healthy and sustainable. RIVM shares its knowledge with scientists, businesses and policymakers, so that they can develop smart solutions together.

RIVM is part of the Microplastics and Human Health Consortium (MOMENTUM). It also advises on the smarter use of plastics. RIVM provides information about the effects of plastics on health and the quality of the environment, and it promotes the development of knowledge and scientific methods to solve the plastics problem.

These efforts focus on the following topics

Updated human and environmental risk assessments

RIVM is working on an integrated risk assessment to include a classification of plastics and microplastics. This involves identifying which properties of plastics can cause possible and observed effects.

Comprehensive view

RIVM’s research into the risks of plastics looks at a wide range of societal costs and benefits in order to assess positive and negative effects side by side. A variety of impacts have to be considered, including human, environmental, social and economic. RIVM also works closely with researchers and businesses in the plastics chain. It reviews research into the effects of plastics on humans and the environment as well as research into alternative materials and products.

Environmental modelling

RIVM cooperates with other knowledge institutions to advance our understanding of the sources, emissions, transport and breakdown of microplastics and nanoplastics in all segments of the environment: soil, water and air. This knowledge will help us to better understand the level and possible effects of human and environmental exposure to plastics. Using scientific models, researchers can more clearly map the spread and concentrations of microplastics and nanoplastics in the environment, including for monitoring purposes.