Fertilizers based on sewage sludge multiply microplastics in farmland

Accumulation of microplastics in aquatic systems is currently a real problem, but according to researchers at the University of Alicante, accumulations of microplastics are being found in terrestrial systems, such as fields where fertilizers from sewage sludge are applied. It is estimated that there is an annual accumulation in crop fields fertilized with sludge from sewage treatment plants between 342,000 and 700,000 million microplastics.

It seems that, according to preliminary studies, said accumulation of microplastics causes alterations in the growth conditions of plants, which could end up in edible parts of them.

That is why numerous studies are being carried out that analyze different ways of recovering the greatest amount of microplastics in WWTPs, recovering up to 90% of the microplastics present in influents and then carrying out different biological treatments for their degradation, such as fermentations with microorganisms, insects or enzymes for later use as biofertilizers or for the synthesis of new materials.

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