Approaching the environmental problem of microplastics: Importance of WWTP treatments

Catégorie : Collecte et Nettoyage des Débris Plastiques marins et aquatiques
Date :17 septembre 2020
Sol, Daniel; Laca, Amanda; Laca, Adriana; Diaz, Mario.
Science of The Total Environment : 740
The undeniable presence of microplastics (MPs) in soil, air and, especially, in the aquatic environment has revealed them to be an emerging pollutant. One of the main sources contributing to the release of these microplastics into the environment is wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). During the treatment of wastewater, these microparticles undergo incomplete retention, which leads to their discharge in huge amounts into water masses. The microplastics removed from the wastewater during the treatment processes usually become entrained in the sewage sludge, which is commonly employed as organic fertilizer. Alarming data regarding the occurrence of MPs in nature and the increasing public awareness of environmental concerns have led to the appearance of numerous studies on this topic in recent years. So, this work is focused on providing an overview of available processes for the removal of microplastics from water and also from sediments. Social demand for the correct and effective management of microplastics is constantly increasing and should be given careful consideration before future action is taken. Recycling is a good option, and policies might be developed in this direction, moving towards a circular and sustainable economy for plastics.