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Plastics from source to sink


Our group explores interdisciplinary research ideas around the hot topic of plastics in the environment.

Plastic pollution is well recognised in marine ecosystems but less attention is being given to freshwater environments. However, tonnes of plastics pass through rivers every year, affecting their ecosystems and people who depend on them.

Professor Steve Ormerod

The density of plastic particules in river beds sometimes can be as much as half a million particules per square meter, much more than the living organisms present in the rivers.

Professor Steve Ormerod, Professor

Plastic pollution is perceived as an increasing priority by the water industry, environmental regulators, government, the plastics and packaging industries, and ordinary people concerned about the state of the environment.

Our group is approaching this issue from a range of disciplinary angles. This includes researching sustainable behaviours around plastic use, designing more environmentally-friendly plastics, and investigating the potential impact of plastics on freshwater ecosystems.

Our group

We bring together researchers from across the natural, engineering and social sciences:


Contact Dr Chris Hubbard if you would like to know more about this group or are interested in collaborating:

Dr Christopher Hubbard

Dr Christopher Hubbard

Research and Impact Officer (Water Research Institute)

+44 (0)29 2087 4667

Our current initiatives

Aerial view of Llyn Brianne reservior

Microplastics in river organisms

Investigating the sources, transfers and ecological implications of plastic pollution across freshwater environments.