• Research Solutions for

    Reducing Microplastic Pollution

    The tremendous leakage of microplastics in waterways worldwide has become a pressing environmental issue. In addition to the damage it poses to animals such as fish and birds, these small particles are at a high risk of being absorbed into the human body.

     

    However, the leakage patterns of microplastics into waterways remains understudied, and an effective solution to clean contaminated waterways has yet to be established. At Pirika, we have taken the first step in tackling the problem, with an efficient yet affordable method to survey microplastic pollution levels. Our research services have been instrumental in studying rivers, bays and treatment plants to better understand the extent of this growing crisis.

  • 都内の河川で採取したマイクロプラスチック

    What are Microplastics?

    Derived from the plastic items we use in our daily lives, microplastics are plastics broken down into pieces smaller than 5mm.

     

    Due to their minuscule size, microplastics are considered a possible risk to human health. While the plastics themselves pose little harm, the accumulation of potentially toxic chemical compounds is thought to increase the risk of human cells becoming cancerous. (※1)

     

    (※1) "Foresight Future of the Sea" by the UK Government Office for Science

  • Pirika's Microplastic Survey Methods

    As experts of waterway pollution, Pirika has developed several methods of surveying microplastic levels, with our technology being adopted by clients such as the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

    "Albatross" Microplastic Sampling Device

    For Affordable and Accurate Sample Collection.

    To resolve the constraints of surveying narrow waterways by boat, Pirika has developed an easy to implement survey device (patent pending).
    Reference: Rapid Sampling of Suspended and Floating Microplastics

    Microplastic Identification Technology

    Determining Sample Source and Leakage Origin.

    Collaborating with the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the Miyoshi Corporation, Pirika has developed technology capable of accurately identify and track microplastics (patent pending).

    Data Management System

    Storing Data for Future Analysis

    Pirika offers customizable microplastic databases developed over an accumulation of thousands of samples and hundreds of field surveys.

  • Survey Process

    1. Consultation and Preparation

    Determining Survey Locations, Methods and Frequencies Fit for Every Project

    Pirika's survey team consults with clients to work with specific research needs, adjusting collection time, location and precision accordingly to accommodate a variety of projects.

     

    Examples of past client research include:

    • Calculations of the microplastic pollution in local waterways
    • Data to develop policies reducing microplastic leakage
    • Tests measuring the effectiveness of existing environmental policies

    2. Sample Collection

    Effective and Comprehensive Field Sampling

    Pirika's sampling methods can be implemented in nearly all locations, making it possible to analyze pollution levels in a wide range of environments. Using a fine mesh net to capture anything larger than 0.1mm, Pirika's methods ensure high-quality samples for lab analysis.

    3. Microplastic Extraction

    Removing Organic Material to Isolate Microplastic Particles

    This process ensures that objects naturally found in waterways, such as organic material and gravel, do not contaminate the sample, raising the precision of the team's measurements

     

    In addition to acid treatments and visual filtering, Pirika utilizes a hydrogen peroxide solution to remove organic contaminants, ensuring the utmost purity of its microplastic samples

    4. Result Analysis

    Determining Microplastic Origin and Leakage Routes

    Using a variety of analysis tools, including a state-of-the-art FT-IR spectrometer, microplastic sample data is recorded and stored in Pirika's own data storage system.

     

    Beyond conventional analysis techniques, which conclude with a particle composition and dimensions, at Pirika we pay due diligence to investigate sample origin. Tracking the samples leakage route, the team takes steps to resolve the underlying issue.

    5. Reporting Recommendations

    Survey Results and Recommendations Towards Reducing Leakages

    In addition to publishing reports and presentations detailing tangible solutions, Pirika works to provide open-source pollution data and advice communities affected by microplastic pollution.

  • Our Services

    A. Comprehensive Microplastic Surveying

    From planning to report publishing, our teams at Pirika can conduct comprehensive research projects measuring the extent of microplastic pollution. Matching a variety of client needs, our research provides in-depth data and insights for a cleaner future.

    B. Sampling & Data Analysis Assistance

    Additionally, Pirika offers partial assistance to support ongoing client research, providing expert advice, specialized analysis technology, and sampling assistance to support all kinds of microplastic research.

    C. Rental Equipment & Analysis Software

    Rental equipment include high-quality sample collection nets (0.1mm - 0.3mm mesh), drainage gauges and motorized sampling devices (Albatross #6). We also offer software services in data management and microplastic identification.

    D. Technological Guidance

    Pirika also provides survey implementation guides, offered remotely or in-person. Empowering businesses and communities with the necessary technology and advice, we at Pirika are committed to lasting solutions for the environment.

  • Past Projects

    Kawasaki City Study

    Kawasaki City Council Member Eriko Oda

    Implemented at request of the city council to inform future environmental policy, Pirika surveyed 14 river and port locations surrounding Kawasaki city, investigating the concentration of microplastic pollution in the environment.

     

    Media: JBpress "The Origins of Tokyo Bay's Plastic Waste Problem"

    100 Surveys Nationwide

    Nippon Foundation & Japan Fund for Global Environment

    Conducted surveys in rivers, lakes and ports across 14 prefectures country-wide. Of 100 locations sampled, 98 contained significant amounts of microplastics, revealing the nationwide extent of this environmental issue. Research results were published in over 20 news media outlets.

     

    Reference: Microplastic Pollution Database

    Mekong River Study

    United Nations Environmental Programme (CounterMEASURE)

    Conducted surveys in 5 cities (4 countries) across Southeast Asia. Our results detected tremendous levels of microplastic concentration, considerably contributing to the pollution of the Mekong Delta.

    Reference: CounterMEASURE | UNEP

  • Partner with Pirika

    We are searching for partners looking to use our technologies to expand and improve their operations.

    Contact us below if your team is interested in working together towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.

    Osumi Co., Ltd.

    Kanto, Japan

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