Manchester river has worst microplastics pollution in the world, study finds

A UK river has been found to have the highest concentration of microplastics anywhere in the world, researchers at the University of Manchester have found.

In research published in Nature Geoscience, the River Tame, which flows through the Greater Manchester area and is part of the Mersey and Irwell river catchment areas, was found by geographers at the university to have a microplastics concentration of 517,000 particles per square metre.

This concentration was found to be more than 50 per cent higher than that found in the next ranked site in the study on the beaches of Incheon-Kyeonggi in South Korea. Further, the study finds that ‘the concentration of microplastics in river bed sediments of the Mersey catchment is higher than in any other environment—either deposited or in suspension—so far reported.’