Rivers host hoards of microplastics too – at least until a big flood comes along

We’ve wised up to the issue of microplastics in our oceans, but what about our rivers?

UK researchers set out to find how microplastics accumulate in rivers, and found them in every river they sampled — even in the smallest rural streams.

In places downstream from urban pollution, they found up to 517,000 plastic particles per square metre.

But when returning to their sites after severe flooding, they found that three-quarters of the microplastics (almost a tonnes worth) had been washed away — destined for the ocean.

Source: University of Manchester, UK

Image courtesy of University of Manchester, UK

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