Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Assessment of Microplastic Impacts in the Marine Environment: A Review

Version 1 : Received: 2 October 2021 / Approved: 4 October 2021 / Online: 4 October 2021 (12:23:39 CEST)

How to cite: Walker, T. Assessment of Microplastic Impacts in the Marine Environment: A Review . Preprints 2021, 2021100057 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202110.0057.v1). Walker, T. Assessment of Microplastic Impacts in the Marine Environment: A Review . Preprints 2021, 2021100057 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202110.0057.v1).

Abstract

Threats emerging from microplastics pollution in the marine environment have received much global attention. This review assessed sources, fate, and impacts of microplastics in marine ecosystems and identified gaps. Most studies document ubiquity of microplastics and associated environmental effects. Effects include impacts to marine ecosystems, risks to biodiversity, and threats to human health. Microplastic leakage into marine ecosystems arises from plastic waste mismanagement and a lack of effective mitigative strategies. This review identified a scarcity of microplastics mitigation strategies across different stakeholders. Lack of community involvement in microplastic monitoring or ecosystem conservation exists due to limited existence of stakeholder co-management initiatives. Although some management strategies exist for controlling the effects of microplastics (often implemented by local and global environmental groups); a standardized management strategy to mitigate microplastics in coastal areas is urgently required. There is a need to identify focal causes of microplastic pollution in the marine environment through further environmental research. This would extend to creating more effective policies as well as harmonized and extended efforts of educational campaigns and incentives for counteraction and plastic waste reduction, while mandating stringent penalties for polluting the marine environment. This will help reduce microplastic leakage into the environment.

Keywords

impacts; microplastics; marine environment; single-use plastics; co-management initiatives

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