What is it about?

Microplastics are ubiquitous and evidence suggests they are dangerous, though the extent of their impact remains unclear. At present, there exist no groundbreaking or practical technologies capable of adequately capturing the microplastics scattered across our environment, and prospects for such innovations in the foreseeable future appear dim. As the journey toward establishing reference benchmarks, such as standards or guidelines, remains arduous, a pressing question arises: How can we stem the relentless tide of microplastics contamination? This article posits a practical yet potent solution: By redoubling our efforts and placing paramount emphasis on embracing robust environmental practices, particularly in the wastewater and solid waste management, it is very possible that the microplastics contamination and be controlled.

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Why is it important?

The widespread existence of microplastics in aquatic ecosystems is concerning. Despite lacking precise knowledge about their impacts and insufficient data for establishing practical guidelines or standards, findings from this article indicate that adhering to current best environmental practices, particularly concerning wastewater treatment and municipal waste management, could effectively curb the release of microplastics into urban freshwater. Such actions are crucial in mitigating microplastics contamination, which poses a significant threat to aquatic ecosystems. Key Takeaways: • Mismanaged plastic waste and untreated wastewater significantly contribute to microplastic contamination in urban freshwater. • The number of registered motor vehicles and stormwater runoff also play a role in the presence of microplastics. • Analyzing these factors can help policymakers develop targeted interventions to reduce microplastic pollution in water bodies.


The pervasive presence of microplastics in our water systems is an issue that demands attention and action. Despite our uncertainty about the full extent of their effects and the lack of concrete guidelines, recent research suggests that implementing robust environmental practices, especially in wastewater treatment and waste management at the municipal level, can play a crucial role in reducing the release of microplastics into urban freshwater. This underscores the importance of proactive measures to address microplastic contamination, considering its profound implications for aquatic ecosystems and, by extension, human health and well-being. It's not just about mitigating a pollutant; it's about safeguarding the intricate balance of our environment and the resources it provides.

Assoc. Prof. Sanya - Sirivithayapakorn
Kasetsart University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Influencing factors of microplastic generation and microplastic contamination in urban freshwater, Heliyon, May 2024, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e30021.
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