Our chemicalized world

Our chemicalized world

Our Chemicalized World, episode 4: Microplastics in the environment II

June 16, 2019

Where do we stand, and what shall we do?

In this follow-up to my interview with Martin Wagner in the previous episode, I discuss some recent reviews on microplastic pollution and environmental risks. I also provide some personal assessment on possible steps forward. First and foremost, at least that’s how I’d argue, need to systematically improve our consumption patterns, and then we must improve global plastic waste management. Implementing those two steps would get rid of microplastic pollution to a good extent already. It would also alleviate a range of other plastic-related environmental impacts.

Starting from the other end might not be overly productive.

* Here is the debate with Martin Wagner on “Microplastics in the environment: Much ado about nothing?” which is now published in the journal Global Challenges.* The report from the Center for International Environmental Law, CIEL, “Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet” can be found here.* The analysis “Toward an Ecotoxicological Risk Assessment of Microplastics: Comparison of Available Hazard and Exposure Data in Freshwaters” by Adam and her colleagues was published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and can be found here. * The discussion of the Saigon river is based on the paper “Macroplastic and microplastic contamination assessment of a tropical river (Saigon River, Vietnam) transversed by a developing megacity” by Lahens and colleagues, which you can find here.* Here is another review paper by Burns and Boxall “Microplastics in the aquatic environment: Evidence for or against adverse impacts and major knowledge gaps“, which was also published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. * The evidence review report on microplastic pollution from SAPEA, (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) can be found here.* The report from the European Group of Chief Scientific Advisors on microplastics can be found here.* The report from Eunomia on “Plastics in the Environment” can be found here. * The essay “Ocean plastic pollution: a convenient but distracting truth” by Stafford and Jones in the journal Marine Policy can be found here.* The rebuttal by Avery-Gomm and her colleagues “There is nothing convenient about plastic pollution. Rejoinder to Stafford and Jones “Viewpoint – Ocean plastic pollution: A convenient but distracting truth?” in the same journal