Microplastics are plastic particles under 5mm in size, they are abundant in the environment, and they have been detected in the ocean, wastewater, fresh water, food, air and drinking water, and both bottled and tap water.
Research from the UK (September 2019) shows that water and wastewater treatment plants remove the majority of microplastics. In addition a recent report (August 2019) by the World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that microplastics in drinking water pose a low concern for human health.
Water utilities are supporting research that will help them better understand the ability of their treatment processes to capture, and therefore remove, microplastics.
The water industry is supporting research that will help them better understand how microplastics move through the wastewater system, as well as the extent and nature of the issue. While microplastics could be found in drinking water, studies show people are more likely to come in contact with microplastics through other sources such as inhaling them from clothing and textiles.