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Division of Environment and Natural Resources

PROLAND – Protecting agricultural lands from plastic pollution

Photo: E. Fløistad / NIBIO, Logo: BioRegion Institute (adapted Colette Coutris)
Active Last updated: 14.12.2023
End: jun 2026
Start: apr 2023

PROLAND addresses the sources of plastic pollution in agricultural soils: sewage sludge, compost, biogas digestate, agricultural plastics, and atmospheric deposition. The project unfolds pressures of plastic and associated chemical hazards by analyzing their levels in soils and conducting fate and impact studies. It deploys cutting edge “design thinking” methods to co-develop measures for pollution prevention.

Start - end date 01.04.2023 - 30.06.2026
Project manager Luca Nizzetto
Project manager at Nibio Claire Coutris
Division Division of Environment and Natural Resources
Department Bioresources and Recycling Technologies
Partners NIVA, BioRegion Institute, Hold Norge Rent, Norsk Vann, Norwaste, Norges Bondelag
Total budget 14 mill. NOK
Funding source Norwegian Research Council

The main aim of the project is to reduce plastic pollution in agricultural soils of Norway, and beyond.

At NIBIO, we investigate what happens to plastics in soil, to what extent different organisms in soil are exposed to microplastics, and the effects. Knowledge of exposure and toxicity is essential for assessing risk, and our main goals are to increase knowledge about:

  • Mobility of microplastics and adsorbed pesticides and additives in different soil types
  • Factors that influence exposure to microplastics in soil organisms
  • Toxicity of microplastics and adsorbed pesticides and additives towards soil organisms


We are also contributing to our research partners' work related to:

  • Mapping sources of plastic in agricultural soils (WP1, led by Rachel Hurley, NIVA)
  • Determining concentrations of (micro)plastics and their additives in agricultural soils (WP 2, led by Sissel Ranneklev, NIVA)
  • Collecting information from stakeholders about their challenges with agricultural plastics (WP4, led by Birgitta Ralston, BioRegion Institute)
Figure 1. Overview of PROLAND. Work packages on sources (WP1), pressures (WP2) and communication (WP5) are led by NIVA, WP3 on impacts is led by NIBIO, and WP4 on measures is led by BioRegion Institute (Figure: NIVA).