Microplastics from effluents of sewage treatment works and stormwater discharging into the Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong

Date of publication 3 August 2020

Authors Mak, Chu Wa; Tsang, Yiu Yuen; Leung, Matthew Ming-Lok; Fang, James Kar-Hei; Chan, King Ming.

Sources Marine pollution bulletin : 157,

DOILink https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111181


Sewage treatment works and stormwater outfalls were identified as sources of microplastics in the Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong. Local treated sewage and stormwater effluents contained up to 10,816 pieces per m(3) of microplastics, mainly polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), being discharged at an average rate of 3.5 mg per capita daily. Bioaccumulation of microplastics in marine fish collected from the vicinity of the effluent discharge outfalls was also studied. The temporal variations of microplastics in terms of abundance, shape and polymer type in fish were found consistent with those in the effluents and surface water. The abundance of microplastics was significantly higher in March 2017 (dry season). Microplastics in fish were predominantly in fiber form and identified as PE and PP. The observed temporal variations suggest uptake of microplastics by fish from the treated sewage and stormwater effluents.

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