Microscopic plastic fragments threaten "catastrophic consequences"

Microscopic and smaller fragments of plastic threaten “potentially catastrophic consequences for human health and our aquatic systems,” accord to researchers at the University of Surrey and Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials.

The study followed the impact of nano and microplastics in water and wastewater treatment and found that they reduce the performance of treatment plants and water quality by clogging up filtration units and increasing wear and tear on materials.

It concluded that efforts to limit the number of nano and microplastics in water and wastewater treatment systems would require new detection strategies to overcome current difficulties in detecting their presence in treatment systems

Some 13 million tonnes of plastic are released every year into rivers and oceans according to the researchers.