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How to filter and remove microplastics from tap water

How to filter and remove microplastics from tap water?

Maybe you have read the recent news that 93% of bottled water around the world and 92% of tap water is contaminated with microplastics*. Other research also concludes that the average person could be ingesting 100,000 pieces or 9 ounces (250 g) of microplastics per year. 

How much microplastics are there in bottled water and tap water? What do we know about the health impact of microplastics? How can you remove microplastics from your tap water?

In this article we will attempt to answer these questions.

How much microplastics does bottled water contain?

The two studies of of bottled water and tap water by Orb Media are the largest of their kind. Orb Media analyzed 250 bottles from 9 different countries around the globe. An average of 40 plastic particles per gallon, each larger than the width of a human hair, were found in bottled water.

How to filter and remove microplastics from tap water

See original infographic by Statista here.

Read more about Orb’s bottled water study here.

What about microplastics in tap water?

It’s not just bottled water. Another study by Orb Media, found that 94% of tap water in the USA and 72% in Europe contained microplastics. In some samples there were thousands of microplastics per liter. The big challenge is that microplastics are unregulated and therefore water utilities are not obliged to test for it or include microplastics in water quality reports. Even if the source of the water is mountain springs and lakes there could be microplastics as plastic pollution is everywhere.

Therefore anyone concerned about their own health or family members should highly consider buying a water filter for microplastics.

Read more about Orb’s tap water study here and here.

How much microplastics do we consume?

New research combining the results of more than 50 studies globally has found that on average, people could be ingesting about 5g of plastic every week – equivalent to a credit card – in the air we breathe, the food we eat and, especially, the water we drink.

This amounts to about 100,000 tiny pieces of plastic – or 250g – every year, said the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the University of Newcastle on Wednesday (June 12). The study was commissioned by WWF and done by the Australian university.

Read more in the WWF report.

What is the health impact of drinking and eating microplastics?

We are all worried about what it might do to humans and animals in the long term. 

Animal and invitro studies have suggested negative effects on inflammation and immunity. Another consideration is that microplastic particles are able to stick to other harmful chemicals and pollutants, which may also have adverse effects on human health. Source:

Microplastic particles can accumulate polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), other chemicals that are linked to harmful health effects, including various cancers, a weakened immune system, reproductive problems and more. Once these chemicals are inside of us, even low doses may have an effect. Source:

Ingested microplastic particles can physically damage organs and leach hazardous chemicals—from the hormone-disrupting bisphenol A (BPA) to pesticides—that can compromise immune function and stymie growth and reproduction. Microplastics in the water we drink and the air we breathe can also hit humans directly. Source:

Infants and young children are especially sensitive to many substances even in very small amounts. Thousands of studies have shown that nitrates, lead, PFAS and other substances may have severe impact on the development of the brain.

The fact is that we don’t know enough yet about the health impact of microplastics. Therefore it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

How can you remove microplastics from tap water at home?

First of all, the smallest microplastics measured by Orb in tap water were about 2.5 micrometres, although most considerably bigger. It’s important to understand the size as this will impact the type of filtering required.

There are two types of filters that will help remove microplastics of this size:

  • Carbon Blocks faucet filters: The most efficient ones, such as TAPP 2 (sold as Flo Faucet in the US) remove 100% of all known microplastics.
  • Reverse Osmosis filters: Can filter down to to 0.001 micron so will remove all known microplastics, but are more expensive and require maintenance.

Make sure that the filter specifically specifies microplastics filtration and that there are independent test results to support it. 

What microplastics filter should you choose?

As we don’t know enough about microplastics in drinking water yet, there is no definite answer. For most circumstances, a low micron rated carbon block filter is an affordable and environmentally friendly way to keep the family safe from microplastics. Note that most carbon block filters have not been tested for microplastics.

More about TAPP 2 and Flo Faucet Microplastics Filter

TAPP 2 (sold as Flo Faucet filter in the US) is the world’s first filter with recyclable refill cartridges. TAPP 2 is the simple, smart, affordable and eco-friendly way to get fresh, clean water at home. It’s designed to fit onto any faucet in less than 1 min. MYTAPP app and web monitors filter usage, cartridge changes, money saved versus bottled water and reduction in plastic waste / CO2. It uses the latest coconut-based micro-filtration technology filtering 80+ contaminants including microplastics, lead, chlorine, THMs and more.

Find out more about TAPP 2.

How do water filters work and how does TAPP 2 compare to other water filters?

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31 thoughts on “How to filter and remove microplastics from tap water?”

  1. My only kitchen faucet has a sprayer at the end and it is not removable. Do you have any filter that can remove micro plastic and others containminants but not UNDER SINK water system ( I already have one installed- Aquasana 5300 ). Your input is greatly appreciated.

  2. We steam distill our drinking water with the distiller time controlled by a timer to ensure the distiller stops before the process ends. This leaves about an inch of sludge in the bottom of the distiller. We store the water in glass jugs, adding back trace minerals before consuming. Are the plastic fibers in the distilled water, or in the sludgevremaing in the pot? Thank you.

    1. Hi Carol, thank you for your message. Plastic has a higher evaporation point than water, so in theory it should stay in the sludge. However, microplastics are so new, it is hard to find studies and scientific evidence on those particularly. Hope this helps! The TAPP team.

  3. Hermelinda Parkinson

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  4. ‘Yet, due to their small size, they are easy to digest’

    I think that ‘ingest’ is the proper world, as I don’t know that any plastics are ‘digestable’

  5. I use two filtering systems, Camelbak which claims to remove chloramines and contaminants and Brita which removes contaminants. I just measured dissolved solids (instrument is sold for $12 for fish tanks on tonight and the Camelbak removed more than the Brita. The Brita does not remove chloramine. I was under the impression that because the Camelbak charcoal was a thin layer that it would remove fewer contaminants, but not so. Therefore, I don’t really need the Brita filter. I understand that Zero is best at removing dissolved solids. It’s called Zero because it removes all dissolved solids. My question is whether I should want that to occur. Next up I’m getting chlorine test strips to see how much chloramine is removed. There are YouTube videos that show how to assess chloramine with chlorine test strips. I have no idea whether chloramine has an overall positive or negative impact on the human body. For all I know, it might fight sepsis. Then I need to figure out how to measure plastic particles. It appears that your article indicates that Brita will remove some, but the Camelbak pitcher filter is different and I don’t know what size it will remove. The Zero filter is different as well. Do you have a dissolved solids ppm for your filter? Does it remove chlorine or chloramine? Certainly running water through your filter and the Camelbak and Zero pitcher filters will accomplish all tasks. I wonder how the immune system reacts to plastic bits and chloramine in our drinking water. Could we be reshaping our immune system?

    1. Hi Susan,
      Thank you for your comment and question. Yes, our filters remove chloramine and micro-plastics as well. In this blog post you can find more information about this topic if you want to learn more:
      Chlorine and chloramide are relatively easy to test at home with some stripes, but of course lab results will always be more detailed and accurate.
      Best regards,
      The TAPP Water team

  6. Aloha, do you make a gravity water filter to filter, say, 5 gallons of water at a time? I’m looking to filter seawater to make seasalt and want to get rid of the microplastics before the water evaporates. Any suggestions on how to make your existing filter work with a water source that is not pressurized?

    1. Hi Randy,

      Thank you for your comment! Unfortunately we don’t develop gravity filters for now, so our products only work with water sources that are pressurized – water needs to go through the activated carbon block for it to work properly.

      Best regards,
      The TAPP team

  7. I believe plastics are toxic. You do too. Why not make a filter to filter plastics that is not MADE FROM PLASTIC?

    1. Hi Christy,

      Thank you for your comment! We are constantly investigating on potential materials (alternative to plastic) that we could use. That is why we launched TAPP 2, the first faucet filter with biodegradable (plant-based) cartridges. However, we still haven’t found a material that can be sustainably sourced, and that is strong enough for the housing. That is why, among the plastics available, we chose ABS, a material that is BPA-free and highly recyclable. But we are open to suggestions and happy to engage in discussions around this topic, since we plan on improving over time.

      The TAPP team

  8. Hi, I am doing a science fair project which is to see if our normal tap water contains as much microplastics as rain water and if not, what the difference is and I was wondering on how I should go about trying to find figure that out. Just at a at home Lvl nothing fancy. Any advice is much appriciated

    1. Hi Bruce,
      Thank you for your question! We are not aware of that, but do let us know if you find out.
      The TAPP team

      1. LifeStraw claims to remove 99.999% of contaminants, which would include microplastics from any kind of freshwater. However it does not have a faucet filter in its line of products so TAPP is still the best when it comes to filtering out microplastics. 😉

        1. Thanks. Yes, that is correct. LifeStraw is a great product for people traveling to places with unsafe tap water.

  9. They could just as well do this at the very source, and fairly cheap too, but noooo, they want to risk the health of billions for the sake of money. Decisions being made high up by the most horrible ‘people’, this is the result.

  10. Hi, I’m presently doing a study in Australia on the effects of microplastics on aquatic organisms entering the food chain.
    Do you have any information that you could share?
    I’m looking for research on the effects of DNA or RNA,
    Changes in growth rates with bivalvia Molluscs and or other aquatic life forms,
    links to cancer or as a carcinogenetic.

    Thank you

    1. Thanks for contacting us. Great initiative. All we know today is that microplastics are most likely bad for humans. We follow all such studies with great interest. Our mission is to eliminate the need for bottled water by providing simple, affordable and sustainable solutions for clean tap water. We don’t do research on the impact of microplastics on animals or humans.

  11. Rebecca Hing

    Do you have a pitcher filter? We have a sprayer on the end of our kitchen faucet so a faucet filter will not work for us.

    1. Thanks for your question. We only do faucet water filters for now as it’s difficult to filter microplastics with a pitcher due to lack of water pressure. We are not aware of any pitchers that filter microplastics today.

    2. Hello 🙂 thanks for contacting us! I regret to inform you that we only have filters that adapt directly to the tap.

      If at any time you decide to change the model of your tap you can contact us and we will help you choose the ones that are compatible.


  12. Love this concept and, of course, don’t want to ingest water with mircoplastics. Just about to place an order, but then wondered. We actually receive – once a year – compost made from the biowaste collected by our municipality waste disposable for use in our kitchen garden. If I’m tossing the used cartridges (as is everyone else) in our biowaste bin to decompose them and turn our biowaste into compost … what happens to all the microplastics that were collected/caught in those cartridges. Am I just adding them to the garden soil now? In our municipality, our regular waste is incinerated and turned into renewable energy (WtE), but not all items are best to go that route and our personal preference is for less waste. I’d prefer biowaste to WtE. but not if I’m simply contaminating my garden. What are your thoughts?

    1. Thank you for the comment and apologies for the slow response.

      It’s a great and difficult question. Unfortunately putting back microplastics into the environment is unavoidable now. If you water your flowers, home grown vegetables or garden you will spray it with microplastics as well. For the future we are working on solutions that will collect the microplastics and other contaminants so that they can be disposed of separately. But for now this is as good as it gets. But one option if you don’t want to put them back into the circular system is simply to dispose of the TAPP 2 cartridges in the normal trash. On a landfill or incineration plant they will break down into inert substances anyway.

      Let us know if you have more questions.

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