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In its latest issue Highways Today seeks expert knowledge and input from SDS as it draws attention to the Government-backed study by the University of Plymouth into the huge volumes of tyre microplastics being shed all along the UK’s motorways and trunk roads.

The report, published late last month by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), is the first to provide real-world evidence that plastic particles from tyres in road runoff could be contaminating up to 100 million square metres of the UK’s river network and 50 million square metres of estuarine and coastal waters.

Asked for her expert comments on the report, SDS Market Development Manager and stormwater treatment specialist, Jo Bradley, said: “Tyre microplastics are an overlooked and widespread pollution scandal that should surprise no-one… There is ample evidence that aquatic species and birds ingest microplastics, but it’s not just the plastics that are damaging. The polluting particles emitted by tyres, brakes and exhaust fumes include copper, zinc and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), particularly benzo[a]pyrene which is classed as a ‘Substance of Very High Concern’ under the REACH regulations. Every time it rains these mutagenic, carcinogenic, bio-accumulative chemicals are being discharged, often in excess of the Environmental Quality Standards, via highway drainage outfalls.”

To discover how this significant problem can be addressed read the full article here.