While eight to 12 million tonnes of plastic enters oceans each year, four million tonnes of it passes along rivers.
As pollution caused by plastic is identified as a grave problem, microplastics in the ocean have also raised eyebrows. But while marine life in the sea does suffer because of these particles being dumped in their habitat, are fresh water reservoirs any safer?
Shocking findings of a study have revealed that insects in rivers are also ingesting fragments of microplastics. Although previous research has focused mainly on ocean pollution, this discovery raises fears that plastic pollution may be a lot worse than we think.
The first of its kind study conducted with mayfly and caddis larvae found that all of them had plastic irrespective of how they feed. While eight to 12 million tonnes of plastic enters oceans each year, four million tonnes of it passes along rivers.
Although the concentration of plastic was found to be higher where waste water contributed more to the river’s flow, it was found that microplastics entered rivers through widespread sources.