Plasti-C-Wetland is a new project of Planterastics researchers. The project is focused on fate and behaviour of microplastics in a laboratory constructed wetland.
Constructed wetlands are often used to treat domestic wastewaters, especially if sewage systems are not available at the site. They contain various aquatic plants and associated microorganisms that efficiently remove organics, metals, and pathogens. However, there are not any data about the treatment efficiency, behavior, and fate of microplastics in constructed wetlands. Therefore, we cannot yet evaluate if constructed wetlands can successfully prevent the entering of microplastics into the environment.
There is limited information about the impact of microplastics on rooted vascular aquatic plants, and therefore, it is still not clear how microplastics affect aquatic plants in constructed wetlands. It is also essential to evaluate the impact of microplastics on the activity of microorganisms in rhizosphere because these microorganisms are crucial for the removal of organics from wastewaters, and thus, thy affect the treatment performance.
Furthermore, microplastics can interact with organic and inorganic pollutants as it has been researched in freshwaters and marine environment. However, there are not any data about the adsorption of pollutants from wastewaters on microplastics and consequential leaching when microplastics with loaded pollutants occur in natural waters. Since wastewaters can contain a significant load of pollutants, it is crucial to evaluate if they can be adsorbed and consequently leached from microplastics into the natural environment. This will help to evaluate their potential to carry pollutants through wastewater treatment plants and release them into the environment.