RAP 2: Wastewater and stormwater management

Wastewater from industries and households can contain substantial amounts of microplastics and macroplastics. Although most solid material is filtered in wastewater treatment plants, effluent water is still a significant pathway for macro- and microplastics in the OSPAR Maritime Area.

In addition, releases of bio-carriers used in certain types of wastewater treatment plants have been observed in the marine environment. Stormwater runoff has also been found to contain both large litter items and microplastics. A further possible route for microplastics to reach the marine environment from wastewater treatment, is via the use of sewage sludge and other biowastes as fertilizer.