Microplastics from effluents of sewage treatment works and stormwater discharging into the Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong

Chu Wa Mak, Yiu Yuen Tsang, Matthew Ming Lok Leung, James Kar Hei Fang, King Ming Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Sewage treatment works and stormwater outfalls were identified as sources of microplastics in the Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong. Local treated sewage and stormwater effluents contained up to 10,816 pieces per m3 of microplastics, mainly polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), being discharged at an average rate of 3.5 mg per capita daily. Bioaccumulation of microplastics in marine fish collected from the vicinity of the effluent discharge outfalls was also studied. The temporal variations of microplastics in terms of abundance, shape and polymer type in fish were found consistent with those in the effluents and surface water. The abundance of microplastics was significantly higher in March 2017 (dry season). Microplastics in fish were predominantly in fiber form and identified as PE and PP. The observed temporal variations suggest uptake of microplastics by fish from the treated sewage and stormwater effluents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111181
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jun 2020


  • Marine plastic pollution
  • Microbeads
  • Seafood safety
  • Urban runoff

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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