Microplastics have invaded some Italian lakes and have also been found in three drinking water treatment plants and two wastewater treatment plants. The main culprits of this pollution are cosmetics, packaging, clothing and tyres.
Present in 98% of the samples collected in the lakes of Bracciano, Trasimeno and Piediluco, there are about 9,000 plastic particles less than 5 millimeters, analyzed in the last two years of 'Life Blue Lakes', the project co-funded by the Life program of the European Commission that involved Italy (coordinated by Legambiente) and Germany - in Costanza and Chiemsee - with the aim of preventing and reducing microplastics in lakes.
Mainly, explains Legambiente on the occasion of the presentation of the results of the monitoring, fragments of polyethylene were found attributable to the old plastic bags, "outlawed for several years but still floating in our waters".
Microplastics were also quantified and analyzed in three drinking water treatment plants and two purification plants on the lakes of Garda and Castreccioni, in the province of Macerata. 30 to 90% of microplastics are retained here, consisting mainly of fragments and fibres made of polyester and polypropylene (used for technical and sportswear). Mase is considered that a single machine wash can release up to one million microfibers, understanding its fate can have a considerable impact on water quality, the environment and health.
Launched in 2019, Life Blue Lakes was born from the awareness that most research has focused for several years on the impacts of plastics in marine ecosystems, overshadowing the role of fresh waters, in particular lakes, important drinking water reserves but also large receptors of microplastics and pollutants in general.
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