Rachid DRIS won the 2016 ASTEE award for his work on micro-plastics. His thesis was completed as part of the OPUR and PIREN-Seine programmes.
Thesis title: « Initial investigations into these sources and fate of macro- and micro-plastics in urban hydro-systems: The case of the Greater Paris area ». Rachid Dris, Thesis in Environmental Sciences and Technologies, Université Paris Est, 271 p.
The issue of plastic waste and, more specifically, micro-plastics (size < 5 mm) has received a lot of media attention and is an issue for a wide number of water industry operators and scientists. While pollution from plastics has been widely studied in the marine environment, research into plastics pollution in land environments, or even in urban watersheds, remained very limited or non-existent prior to the publication of this thesis. The focus of the latter on the study of plastic waste (macro- and micro-plastics) across the Greater Paris area and its impact on the Seine is innovative and confirms the widespread presence of plastics in the environment. In addition to methodological elements for the analysis of micro-plastics in urban matrices and land-bound water areas, this research has brought about new knowledge into the contamination of numerous urban water sources, as well as into the level of plastic waste present in the Seine.
This innovative work lays the first bricks in building an understanding of the micro-plastic contamination of land-bound ecosystems, both on the national and international scale. Beyond the scientific community, the results which it has generated will also help to implement a Strategy Framework Directive for the marine environment, a particularly challenging issue for various water management bodies (Ministry of Ecology, water agencies, etc.).
To find out more, the thesis manuscript is available here: https://hal-enpc.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01512556