Some of the MINAGRIS team are presenting at an upcoming joint stakeholder event with our sister project, PAPILLONS. The event is on Wednesday 22nd May from 10:00 CET and is entitled: “Agricultural microplastics: seeing beyond the surface”

The MINAGRIS presentations include: 

Dr Abdallah Alaoui & Dr Adrian Grunder: Feedback from stakeholders on plastic use and pollution in agriculture 
Dr Spela Zeleznikar: Insights into the impact of MP on soils: pre-testing laboratory and small-scale experiments to observe the effect of MP on selected soil properties

The event is being held in-person in Helskinki, Finland, as well as being live-streamed online. 

Click here to find out more and register. 

French documentary Le Monde de Jamy 1

Members of the MINAGRIS team recently took part in filming for an upcoming documentary about plastic contamination, which will be shown on ‘Le Monde de Jamy’ in France.

We covered several topics in our interviews, with three of our researchers from Wageningen University and Research taking part. Firstly, Dr Nicolas Beriot explained how plastic contamination is monitored in agricultural fields; next, Ms Rozita Soltani Tehrani spoke about how plastics are transported across soil profiles; and finally, Dr Maarten van der Zee showed how biodegradation is assessed and clarified alongside comparing the differences between bio-based and bio-degradable plastics.

The documentary will air towards the end of 2024/in early 2025. Stay tuned! 

Spanish outlets have taken an interest in our work this week, with two featuring our research on the impacts of plastic on microbial biodiversity.


EcoAvant, who's work focusses on raising awareness about environmental issues and new scientific advances in the field, have written an editorial on an interview interview with MINAGRIS researcher Raúl Ortega for the Discover Foundation. This non-profit institution that is part of the public administration sector and is promoted by the Department of Univrsities, Research and Innovation of the Government of Andalusia. 

The articles focussed on Nicolas Beriot, Raúl Ortega and team's recent paper on intensive vegetable production under plastic mulch, looking at how soil plastic and pesticide residues affect the soil microbiome. These roughly lentil-sized microplastics were examined to look for relationships between the types of microorganisms and the plastics. In summary, they found that some bacteria form communities around plastics, and others avoid it, changing the normal flow of nutrients in the soil. 

To find out more, see the original article in Science of the Total Environment here, or read the inverview with Andalusia's Discover Foundation here

MINAGRIS compost week 1


MINAGRIS are celebrating International Compost Awareness Week 2024 as we recognise how beneficial compost can be for sustainable food production. However, many of the farmers we've spoken with avoid applying municipal compost despite its substantial benefits for increasing soil organic matter levels, sequestering carbon, and generally supporting healthy soils. These farmers have stopped applying compost because of high levels of plastic debris, which is entering municipal compost when we leave plastic in our food/green waste. Many of these plastics are likely 'compostable' and 'biodegradable' food waste bags, however, these can take many years to break down depending on their properties. While composting facilities are generally able to remove much of the plastic that ends up in compost, they are often unable to get rid of everything - particularly when these plastics have broken down into micro- and nano-plastics, invisible to the human eye.

Be a compost champion: double check your food and green waste before putting it in your bins! 

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Dr Esperanza Huerta Lwanga recently gave a talk about MINAGRIS at the Deltares international conference on micro- and nano-plastics in soil, which took places in the Netherlands. The conference gave us an opportunity to learn and exchange knowledge with other scientists and decision-makers.


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