Research carried out by a Washington State University nanoscale particles of the most commonly used plastics tend to move through the water supply, especially in fresh water, or settle out in wastewater treatment plants, where they end up as sludge, in landfills, and often as fertilizer.
“We are drinking almost a few grams of plastics every month or so. That is concerning because you don’t know what will happen after 20 years.” said by researchers at WSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
It’s estimated that every day about eight trillion pieces of microplastics go through wastewater treatment plants and end up in the aquatic environment.
These little bits of plastic can come from the degradation of larger plastics or from microbeads that are used in personal care products.The researchers studied the fate of nanoparticles of polyethylene and polystyrene, which are used in a huge number of products, including plastic bags, personal care products, kitchen appliances, disposable drinking cups and packaging material. They examined how the tiny plasticparticles behaved under various chemistries, ranging from salty seawater to water containing organic material.
It has created a way to Innovate a method to remove plastics from water and Researchers have recently received a grant from the State of Washington Water Research Center for that work.