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.
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:
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.
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.
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.