Microplastic Pollution in Water and Their Removal in Various Wastewater Treatment Plants

Ali Khadir, Mehrdad Negarestani, Asiyeh Kheradmand, Mika Sillanpää

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Plastics and related products have made our life easier due to their extensive application in household chores and industry. Plastic bags and bottled water are of two common usages of plastics that could be observed almost anywhere around the world. Large production of plastics has made them a serious concern for the environment. Over years, plastics are disintegrated via nature (such as wind or sun) or anthropogenic activities and turn into microplastics having size lower than 5 mm. Unfortunately, detection of microplastics in different media including drinking water, lakes, rivers, soils, sediments, and even tissues of marine life have been reported. In the present chapter general overview of microplastics is presented, then performance of various wastewater treatment plants in different regions is discussed. It was found that current wastewater treatment plants are available for removing microplastics in units such as screening and primary sedimentation; however, in the effluent microplastics still exist and freely release into ecosystem. Considering the large volume of wastewaters, it can be said that large number of microplastics may exist from wastewater treatment plants and enter rivers and lakes that may finally reach our tap water. To prevent risks associated with microplastics in both human and the environment and its spread in the environment, it is fair to employ advanced wastewater treatment methods being capable of removing the residues of microplastics in the effluent.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Footprints and Eco-Design of Products and Processes
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEnvironmental Footprints and Eco-Design of Products and Processes
ISSN (Print)2345-7651
ISSN (Electronic)2345-766X


  • Microplastics
  • Plastics
  • Removal
  • Wastewater treatment plants
  • Water pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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