Sewage plants are leaking millions of plastic beads into UK seas
British sewage plants are leaking millions of tiny plastic beads into surrounding seas.
UNITED KINGDOM — Sewage plants could be leaking millions of tiny plastic beads used for wastewater treatment into seas around the U.K., according to a new report.
Dozens of treatment facilities across the country use Bio-Bead plastic pellets to filter chemical and organic contaminants out from sewage, the study from the Cornish Plastic Pollution Coalition (CPPC) said, the Guardian reported.
The study found several millions of the 3.5 mm wide pellets had been spilled into the surrounding seas.
The Bio-Bead system is used by at least 55 sewage plants around the U.K., according to the CPPC.
Bio-Beads are used in the last step of the sewage treatment process before treated effluent water is discharged back into rivers or the sea.
The CPPC found no systems are currently in place at sewage plants to handle Bio-Bead spills.
Plastic microbeads and industrial pellets, like Bio-Beads, are often mistaken for food by fish, birds and other marine wildlife.
The plastic kills animals by blocking the digestive tract, but also as a result of exposure to chemical pollutants like DDT and PCBs that attach to the plastic beads in seawater.
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