Traffic microplastic – solutions to mitigate the problem : FanpLESStic-sea project report

Erika Winquist, Marjatta Vahvaselkä, Matleena Vuola, Panu Sainio

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Traffic microplastics, i.e. tyre and road wear particles, are reported as the largest group of microplastics entering the environment and finally the sea. Thus, it is most critical to decrease the amount of especially traffic related microplastics and here already a small relative decrease can be significant.
The primary aim of the EU’s ‘Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy’ is to reduce transport related GHG emissions by at least 90% by 2050 compared to 1990. However, a carbon neutral transportation system is not enough, also other traffic related contamination, such as tyre and road wear particles, should be considered. On the contrary, with increasing number of electric vehicles, even more attention should be paid to tyre wear. Electric cars can accelerate faster than many traditional cars, which may lead to increased tyre wear. In addition, electric cars are today generally heavier than cars that run on liquid fuels or gas, due to the weight of the batteries.
The most efficient way to reduce the amount of tyre and road wear particles in the environment are through preventive methods. Factors that affect tyre and road wear are related to proper use of tyres, driving behaviour, and the characteristics of the tyres as well as road surfaces. These are all presented in this report in more detail. A good starting point to tackle the traffic microplastics’ problem is all kind of public awareness raising campaigns. Some improvements might also need supportive policies for their realization. However, there is already a lot what we can do even without further technical development. But for successful implementation, commitment is needed from all stakeholders; policy makers, industry, municipalities and consumers.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNatural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-380-255-1
ISBN (Print)978-952-380-254-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

NameNatural resources and bioeconomy studies
PublisherNatural Resources Institute Finland
ISSN (Print)2342-7647
ISSN (Electronic)2342-7639


  • microplastics
  • traffic
  • tyre wear particles
  • prevention


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