The discharge of certain amounts of industrial microplastic from a production plant into the River Danube is permitted by the Austrian legislation

Numerous studies have quantified the amount of plastic litter in aquatic ecosystems and tried to assess its impacts and threats. This reflects a rising awareness of plastic as an environmental problem. As a next logical step, identifying and regulating the sources must be in the focus of scientific efforts. We report on a spillage of industrial microplastic (IMP) from a production plant situated at an Austrian Danube tributary. This is the first identified point source of IMP litter in freshwater systems. However, due to generous thresholds established by the Austrian government substantial amounts of IMP are legally introduced into running waters.

Aaron Lechner, David Ramler, Environmental Pollution, Volume 200, Pages 159–160, May 2015

The article

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