Storm Water Management for Preventing Plastic Pollution
Internationally plastic pollution involving plastic bags, pellets, flakes, powder and microplastics is
recognised as a major environmental hazard. International initiatives in the US (Operation Clean Sweep)
and Europe (Interregs’s Preventing Plastic Pollution) are organising and coordinating efforts to minimise
In Europe working in partnership with 18 organisations from across France and England, Preventing
Plastic Pollution seeks to understand and reduce the impacts of plastic pollution in the marine
environment. By looking at the catchment from source to sea, the project will identify and target
hotspots for plastic, embed behaviour change in local communities and businesses, and implement
effective solutions and alternatives.
The €14m Preventing Plastic Pollution project was approved by the Interreg France (Channel) England
Programme, which has committed €9.9m in funding through the European Regional Development Fund.
The project will work across seven pilot sites: Brest Harbour, Bay of Douarnenez, Bay of Veys, Poole
Harbour, and the Medway, Tamar, and Great Ouse estuaries.
Ultratech in the US and Middle East with its Drainguard and Fosse Liquitrol in Europe with its equivalent
Witches Hat are working with these international initiatives to provide best practice for storm water
Trials are underway and in Jordan the trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of the Witches Hats in
protecting drains in severe cloudburst weather and in filtering out microplastics (particle less than 5 mm
in size). These trials have resulted in the Drain Guards/Witches Hats being specified by the Jordanian
Highways Authority for best practice for protecting drains for preventing plastic pollution.
Witches hats are designed to filter out hydrocarbons, dirt, sand and plastics , including microplastics
whilst allowing storm water to flow. They exceed 80% sediment removal efficiency, comply with NPDES,
40 CFR 122.26 (1999) when used as Best Management Practice in Stormwater Pollution Prevention
Plans and with their 0.18mm filtration mesh size remove microplastics (defined as < 5mm). They are
quick and easy to install, simply lift the grate, lower the guard into position and replace the grate
pinching the fabric in place to secure. They are easily emptied and reused again.