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Confirmed: If sewage sludge is applied to fields, microplastics can get into deeper soil layers and onto adjacent areas

Using sewage sludge to fertilise fields can promote the uncontrolled release of microplastics into the wider environment (seen here: Microplastic fibres amongst plant fibres from a soil sample).
The sample from a soil treated with sewage sludge shows microplastic fibres of 0.5 millimetres or more among plant fibres. (Photo: IOW / A. Tagg)

The fact that sewage sludge from municipal waste water treatment plants contains a high proportion of microplastics has already been shown in earlier studies. It was suspected that the use of such sludge for fertilising fields could also promote the uncontrolled input of microplastics into the wider environment. Now, studies conducted as part of the project MicroCatch_Balt funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research confirm this assumption.

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