Journal article Open Access
Microplastics are emerging as an ever-increasing threat to the environment and are becoming an issue of concern among researchers. Microplastics are often detected in the environment, the risks they pose are debated and largely unknown. One important challenge in determining the threats of microplastics to humans and the environment is the heterogeneity of the physical and chemical properties, the nature and concentration of the particles and the difficulty in identifying standardized detection systems. Microplastics can reach drinking water supplies from surface run-off, degraded plastic waste, atmospheric deposition, and wastewater effluent. The effluent from wastewater treatment plants is one of the most important factors behind the contamination of microplastics. Microplastics in drinking water supplies have recently been detected. This article presents an analysis and review of available literature on the effects of microplastics on freshwater, agriculture, and ecosystems, as well as emerging treatment methods with an emphasis on microplastic biodegradation. The article will display a model used to measure the export of microplastic waste from land to sea. Finally, the policy and regulation and the way the Sustainable Development Goals will reduce microplastic emissions will be addressed.