More than half of microplastics stay trapped on land and in freshwater environments

More than half of microplastics remain on land and in freshwater environments, according to a new report by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).

Experts said that although plastics in the marine environment have received worldwide attention, microplastics also remain in soils when wastewater sewage sludge is used as fertiliser and when particulates are washed from road surfaces.

The report, ‘Addicted to plastic: micro-plastic pollution and prevention’, found data on the environmental and health impacts of microplastics on land were sparse.

It called for greater research into the impact of the application of sewage sludge containing microplastics to farmland.

Terry Fuller, CIWEM chief executive, said:

“Most plastic pollution originates from the mismanagement of waste or is unintentionally lost.

“Government should therefore focus on producing a new plastics strategy to improve product design and substitution, extend producer responsibility and support deposit return schemes.”

To view the whole report, visit


Recycling & Waste World


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