Microplastics proved universal in freshwater sediment

BEIJING: Chinese researchers have proved that microplastics are ubiquitous in rivers, lakes and sediment in reservoirs. Their research findings revealed that 70 percent of microplastics in the marine environment come from rivers, found largely in river sediment.
The researchers from the Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources under the Chinese Academy of Sciences hoped to uncover the secrets behind the occurrence, transport and diffusion of microplastics in freshwater sediment.
They reviewed a number of potential factors affecting the abundance of microplastics in freshwater sediment, including morphological characteristics, polymer types and sources. The results showed that microplastics are ubiquitous in the investigated sediment of rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Apparent differences were also observed in microplastics concentration across different regions. Fibers with particles smaller than one millimeter are the dominant shape for microplastics in freshwater sediment, according to the research article published in the journal Science of the Total Environment. The most frequently recorded colors of microplastics are white or transparent.
The researchers acknowledged that microplastics in freshwater sediment need further research to identify their spatial and temporal variations as well as driving force. –Agencies