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The occurrence of microplastics in marine habitats is well documented and of growing concern. The presence of these small (<5 mm) pieces of plastic is less well recorded in inland water systems. In this paper, we determine a cost-efficient and straightforward method for the collection and identification of microplastics in UK inland waters. We found pieces of microplastic from all sample sites ranging from over 1000 L-1 in the River Tame, to 2.4 L-1 in Loch Lomond. The presence of microplastics in all waters tested suggest it should now be classed as an emergent contaminant, with routine monitoring required.


  • Microplastics, emergent contaminants, fluorescence microscopy, inland waters, plastic pollution
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-95
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Limnology
Issue number1
Early online date13 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

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