Alice Horton's blog

Microplastics ban is ambitious but only tackles part of the problem

Alice Horton, an ecotoxicologist at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, looks at the context and potential implications of a proposed EU-wide ban on primary microplastics...

Once released into the environment, microplastics are practically impossible to remove. They will remain there for hundreds, if not thousands of years. A wide range of animals, including invertebrates, fish, mammals and birds will ingest plastics, either directly or indirectly by eating other organisms that have consumed them.

First evidence of microplastics in UK freshwater environments

CEH scientists published a study last week showing the first evidence of microplastic particles in UK freshwater environments.  ‘Microplastics’ - plastic particles of less than 5mm diameter - are an issue of growing concern as they persist in the environment. They have been widely studied in marine ecosystems but, until now, no studies have investigated their presence in rivers in the UK, despite the likelihood of microplastics entering and accumulating within rivers. 

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