Drinking water and micro-plastics report - reaction

Tougher action is needed to stop micro-plastic pollution entering our waterways.
  Published:  09 Sep 2019    |      1 minute read

A new report by the water industry published today (Monday 9 September 2019) has revealed that water treatment processes remove 99.9% of micro-plastic particles from sources of drinking water.

Earlier this year Friends of the Earth and Bangor University found micro-plastic pollution in all ten of the lakes, rivers and reservoirs they tested across Britain.

Friends of the Earth’s plastics campaigner Julian Kirby said:

“While it’s clearly good news that most micro-plastics are removed from our drinking water, it’s disturbing that micro-plastic pollution in our environment is so widespread.

“Action must also be taken to prevent pollution from micro-plastics contained in sewage sludge from wastewater treatment works. 80% of this is spread on farmland - meaning huge quantities of micro-plastic are deposited into our environment.

“The fact plastic is present in our waters suggests we need to consider micro-plastic pollution as an emergent contaminant in any future water quality assessments.

“But ultimate responsibility for stemming the tide of plastic pollution lies upstream, with the producers of potentially polluting plastic. Focus must be on plastic reduction and the government must legislate to make this happen.”