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Manufacturing and industrial

Manufacturing and industrial

Microplastics entering soil General litter blowing or otherwise moving offsite Waste entering waterways, such as during storms Waste illegally dumped by businesses (on land or in waterways)

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Manufacturing and industrial waste may include cafeteria garbage, dirt and gravel, masonry and concrete, scrap metals, oil, solvents, chemicals, green waste, wood and scrap lumber, and wastes from industrial products. This waste may be:

  • microplastic entering soil
  • general litter blowing or otherwise moving offsite
  • waste entering waterways, such as during storms
  • waste illegally dumped by businesses—on land or in waterways.

Industrial solid waste is divided into hazardous and non-hazardous. This waste is regulated under the (New Regulated Waste Classification and Waste-related Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) classifications). These classifications also define as hazardous certain commercial products, such as cleaning fluids, paints and pesticides.

Even though the management of waste in manufacturing and industry is highly regulated, microplastics and their uncontrolled release into the environment has not been fully evaluated. For example, high levels of microplastic pollution have been found in water and sediment discharged from a textile industrial area microplastics, nanoplastics and microbeads could be escaping from other industrial sites[1].

Manufacturing and industrial waste may move through the environment via four pathways:


  1. ^ Deng, H, Wei, R, Luo, W, Hu, L, Li, B, Di, Y & Shi, H (2020), 'Microplastic pollution in water and sediment in a textile industrial area', Environmental Pollution. [online], vol. 258, p. 113658. Available at:

Last updated: 10 May 2021

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2021) Manufacturing and industrial, WetlandInfo website, accessed 27 October 2023. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science