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dc.contributor.authorNapper, IE
dc.contributor.authorParker-Jurd, Florence
dc.contributor.authorWright, SL
dc.contributor.authorThompson, Richard

Research on the discharge of synthetic microfibres to aquatic environments has typically focused on laundering, where fibres can be discharged via wastewater effluent. However emerging research suggests that microfibres generated during the wear of textiles in normal use could present a major, additional, pathway for microfibre pollution to the environment. This study aimed to quantify and compare the quantities of microfibre entering the marine environment via both these pathways; wastewater discharge and atmospheric deposition. Areas of high and low population density were also evaluated. Samples were collected in and around two British cities (Bristol and Plymouth) both of which are located on tidal waters. Fibres originating from the atmosphere were deposited at an average rate of 81.6 fibres m2 d−1 across urban and rural areas. Treated wastewater effluent contained on an average 0.03 synthetic fibres L−1. Based on our results we predict ~20,000–500,000 microfibres could be discharged per day from the Wastewater Treatment Plants studied. When the two pathways were compared. Atmospheric deposition of synthetic microfibres appeared the dominant pathway, releasing fibres at a rate several orders of magnitude greater than via treated wastewater effluent. Potential options to reduce the release of microfibres to the environment are discussed and we conclude that intervention at the textile design stage presents the most effective approach. In order to guide policy intervention to inform the Plastics Treaty UNEA 5.2, future work should focus on understanding which permutations of textile design have the greatest influence fibre shedding, during both everyday use and laundering.

dc.publisherElsevier BV
dc.subjectMarine pollution
dc.subjectSynthetic fibres
dc.subjectAtmospheric pollution
dc.subjectWastewater effluent
dc.subjectPlastics Treaty
dc.titleExamining the release of synthetic microfibres to the environment via two major pathways: Atmospheric deposition and treated wastewater effluent
dc.typeJournal Article
plymouth.issuePt 1
plymouth.journalScience of The Total Environment
plymouth.organisational-group/Plymouth/Faculty of Science and Engineering
plymouth.organisational-group/Plymouth/Faculty of Science and Engineering/School of Biological and Marine Sciences
plymouth.organisational-group/Plymouth/REF 2021 Researchers by UoA
plymouth.organisational-group/Plymouth/REF 2021 Researchers by UoA/UoA07 Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences
plymouth.organisational-group/Plymouth/Research Groups
plymouth.organisational-group/Plymouth/Research Groups/Marine Institute
plymouth.organisational-group/Plymouth/Users by role
plymouth.organisational-group/Plymouth/Users by role/Academics
plymouth.organisational-group/Plymouth/Users by role/Researchers in ResearchFish submission
dc.rights.embargoperiodNot known
rioxxterms.funderNatural Environment Research Council
rioxxterms.identifier.projectCurrent and Future Effects of Microplastics on Marine Shelf Ecosystems (MINIMISE)
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Review
plymouth.funderCurrent and Future Effects of Microplastics on Marine Shelf Ecosystems (MINIMISE)::Natural Environment Research Council

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