Although landfill is suspected to be releasing microplastics to the environment, there is few empirical researches carried out. To clarify suspicions of landfills as potential sources of microplastics, twelve leachate samples from four active and two closed municipal solid waste landfills were investigated. Microplastics were found in all the landfill leachate samples. In total, seventeen different types of plastics were identified in the leachate samples with calculated concentration ranging from 0.42 to 24.58 items/L. Polyethylene and polypropylene were the predominant polymer types. 99.36% microplastics were derived from the fragmentation of plastic waste buried in landfills. The size of 77.48% microplastics was between 100 and 1000 mu m. The study shows that the generation, accumulation and release of micro plastic in landfills is a long-term process. The results of our study provide preliminary evidence and validate that landfill isn't the final sink of plastics, but a potential source of microplastics. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Microplastic;Active and closed landfills;Landfills leachate plastic waste;Secondary microplastics;