POLLUTION PLASTIQUE MARINE ET AQUATIQUE
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Détection et Caractérisation

The effects of wet wipe pollution on the Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in the River Thames, London

McCoy, K. A.; Hodgson, D. J.; Clark, P. F.; Morritt, D.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) : 264, 114577.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114577


The aim of the present study was to evaluate "flushable" and "non-flushable" wet wipes as a source of plastic pollution in the River Thames at Hammersmith, London and the impacts they have on the invasive Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea, in this watercourse. Surveys were conducted to assess whether the density of wet wipes along the foreshore upstream of Hammersmith Bridge affected the distribution of C. fluminea. High densities of wet wipes were associated with low numbers of clams and vice versa. The maximum wet wipe density recorded was 143 wipes m-2 and maximum clam density 151 individuals m-2. Clams adjacent to the wet wipe reefs were found to contain synthetic polymers including polypropylene (57%), polyethylene (9%), polyallomer (8%), nylon (8%) and polyester (3%). Some of these polymers may have originated from the wet wipe reefs.



Détection et Caractérisation

Using photographs to record plastic in seabird nests

Ryan, Peter G.

Marine pollution bulletin : 156, 111262.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111262


The incidence of plastic in seabird nests can be used to track changes in the amounts of marine debris, but large sample sizes are needed for accurate estimates. Surveys of active nests cause disturbance to breeding birds, so we need an efficient way to sample nest plastics. Photographs of brown noddy Anous stolidus nests at Ducie Atoll, southeast Pacific Ocean, allowed rapid characterisation of plastic use with limited disturbance, and showed selection for blue-green items. Plastic was more prevalent in noddy nests at Ducie Atoll (97%) than at Inaccessible Island, South Atlantic Ocean (41%), despite lower debris densities at Ducie. Differences in nesting habitat and the resultant availability of natural nesting material drive this difference in plastic loads. Using photographs to record plastic in seabird nests reduces disturbance to breeding birds and might decrease the risk of missing cryptic debris items. Photographs also provide a permanent record of pollution levels.



Détection et Caractérisation

Wasting the North Sea? – A field-based assessment of anthropogenic macrolitter loads and emission rates of three German tributaries

Schöneich-Argent, Rosanna Isabel; Dau, Kirsten; Freund, Holger.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) : 263 (DocId: Pt B) 114367.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114367


Research into the scope of litter pollution in freshwater systems has shown similar levels to the marine and coastal environment. Global model estimates of riverine emission rates of anthropogenic litter are largely based on microplastic studies as long-term and holistic observations of riverine macroplastics are still scarce. This study therefore aims to contribute a detailed assessment of macrolitter in the transitional waters of three major North Sea tributaries: Ems, Weser, and Elbe. Litter surveys were carried out in four river compartments: along the embankment, on the river surface, in the water column, and on the river bed. The data revealed spatio-temporal variability and distinct pollution levels for each compartment. Beaches had the highest debris diversity and were significantly more littered than vegetated sites and harbors. Stony embankments were least polluted. Benthic litter levels appeared substantial despite rapid burial of objects being likely due to high suspended sediment loads. Two extrapolation approaches were tested to scale daily and annual litter emission quantities of surface- and subsurface-floating litter. Using the mean (median) litter item mass from water column samples, total annual mass discharges were calculated: ∼0.9 (0.2) t y-1 to ∼2.8 (0.5) t y-1 emitted via the Ems, ∼1.3 (0.2) t y-1 to ∼12.0 (1.9) t y-1 through the Weser, and ∼14.7 (2.4) t y-1 to ∼801 (128) t y-1 carried into the North Sea by the Elbe. These rates deviate considerably from previous model estimates of plastic loads discharged by these three rivers. Future studies should therefore ground-truth model estimates with more river-specific and long-term field observations. Overall, the estimated plastic debris discharge quantities account for <1% of the total mass of mismanaged plastic waste per catchment.



Collecte et Nettoyage des Débris Plastiques marins et aquatiques

Microplastics Removal from Treated Wastewater by a Biofilter

Liu, Fan; Nord, Nadia B.; Bester, Kai; Vollertsen, Jes.

Water : 12 (DocId: 4) 1085.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041085


Microplastic (MP) pollution is a global environmental issue, and traditionally treated wastewater has been identified as a source of land-based microplastics into the aquatic environment. This study evaluated the performance of a pilot-scale biofilter to polish wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent before it enters the environment. The filter was divided into four zones, allowing the concentration of microplastics to be followed through the filter. It was fed with secondary effluent from a conventional WWTP in Denmark. The raw effluent from the WWTP contained 917 items m(-3) which corresponded to a mass concentration of 24.8 mu g m(-3). After the top layer of the biofilter, the concentration had decreased to a median value of 197 item m(-3) and 2.8 mu g m(-3), indicating an overall removal efficiency of 79% in terms of particle number and 89% in terms of particle mass. We also observed a tendency that MP of larger size and higher particle mass were more likely to be retained. After the last filtration zone, all MP larger than 100 m had been removed. The results of this study demonstrate that biofilters are able to lower the MP abundance in treated wastewater significantly, but a complete removal is not ensured, hence some MP, particularly small-sized ones, can still be discharged into the receiving environment.



Détection et Caractérisation

Characterization of microplastics on filter substrates based on hyperspectral imaging: Laboratory assessments

Zhu, Chunmao; Kanaya, Yugo; Nakajima, Ryota; Tsuchiya, Masashi; Nomaki, Hidetaka; Kitahashi, Tomo; Fujikura, Katsunori.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) : 263 (DocId: Pt B) 114296.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114296


Microplastic pollution has become an urgent issue because it adversely affects ecosystems. However, efficient methods to detect and characterize microplastic particles are still in development. By conducting a series of laboratory assessments based on near-infrared hyperspectral imaging in the wavelength range of 900-1700 nm, we report the fundamental spectral features of (i) 11 authentic plastics and (ii) 11 filter substrate materials. We found that different plastic polymers showed distinct spectral features at 1150-1250 nm, 1350-1450 nm and 1600-1700 nm, enabling their automatic recognition and identification with spectral separation algorithms. Using an improved hyperspectral imaging system, we demonstrated the detection of three types of microplastic particles, polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, down to 100 μm in diameter. As a filter substrate, a gold-coated polycarbonate filter (GPC0847-BA) showed constant reflectance over 900-1700 nm and a large radiative contrast against loaded plastic particles. Glass fiber filters (GF10 and GF/F) would also be suitable substrates due to their low cost and easy commercial availability. This study provides key parameters for applying hyperspectral imaging techniques for the detection of microplastics.



Détection et Caractérisation

Field study of the microplastic pollution in sea snails (Ellobium chinense) from mangrove forest and their relationships with microplastics in water/sediment located on the north of Beibu Gulf

Li, Ruilong; Zhang, Shuaipeng; Zhang, Linlin; Yu, Kefu; Wang, Shaopeng; Wang, Yinghui.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) : 263 (DocId: Pt B) 114368.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114368


Laboratory studies demonstrated that the mussels were good model organisms in revealing microplastics (MPs) uptake and toxicity. However, only limited field study data on the MPs in benthic marine mesoherbivores collected from mangrove forests are currently available. In this study, the MPs in the snails (Ellobium chinense) organs, rather than the shell, from a mangrove forest were dominant fraction (maximum reaching to 60%). Unexpectedly, no significant linear relationships were found between the levels of MPs in the organs of the snails and the levels in the sediment/tidal water. Further studies were done to explore the sources of the MPs in snail organs. MPs in snail organs at both the landward (interior) and seaward (exterior) zones mainly origin from the pore water. Moreover, the MPs found in the snails showed no relevance to the particulate matter (PM) collected from pore water. The findings reported here imply that both the MPs and PM in pore water affect the extent of MPs enter into the organs of benthic marine mesoherbivores collected from mangrove forest.



Détection et Caractérisation

First evidence of microplastic pollution in the El Quetzalito sand beach of the Guatemalan Caribbean

Mazariegos-Ortíz, Carlos; Los Ángeles Rosales, María de; Carrillo-Ovalle, Leonel; Cardoso, Renan Pereira; Muniz, Marcelo Costa; Dos Anjos, Roberto Meigikos.

Marine pollution bulletin : 156, 111220.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111220


In Guatemala, assessment of the impacts of microplastic pollution in marine and coastal protected areas has not yet been carried out. Therefore, the main goal of this paper was to evaluate the abundance, composition, physical forms, and the possible sources of plastic debris in the El Quetzalito Beach. The area was intended for biodiversity conservation but has been excessively contaminated by plastic materials from land-based activities. The results state that plastic debris negatively impact the Caribbean coast of Guatemala and are released by storm water and riverine transport from the Motagua River. With a high abundance of 279 items/m2 (30 items/kg d.w.), composed mainly of polystyrene foam beads (66.8%) and polypropylene fragments (25.8%), the microplastic sources are the deterioration of large plastics. As these plastics are commonly used in industrial, commercial, fishing, and household activities, these findings reinforce the need to improve effective sustainable management actions of solid waste treatment and disposal in the Guatemalan cities.



Détection et Caractérisation

High-Resolution Mapping of Japanese Microplastic and Macroplastic Emissions from the Land into the Sea

Nihei, Yasuo; Yoshida, Takushi; Kataoka, Tomoya; Ogata, Riku.

Water : 12 (DocId: 4) 951.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040951


Plastic debris presents a serious hazard to marine ecosystems worldwide. In this study, we developed a method to evaluate high-resolution maps of plastic emissions from the land into the sea offshore of Japan without using mismanaged plastic waste. Plastics were divided into microplastics (MicPs) and macroplastics (MacPs), and correlations between the observed MicP concentrations in rivers and basin characteristics, such as the urban area ratio and population density, were used to evaluate nationwide MicP concentration maps. A simple water balance analysis was used to calculate the annual outflow for each 1 km mesh to obtain the final MicP emissions, and the MacP input was evaluated based on the MicP emissions and the ratio of MacP/MicP obtained according to previous studies. Concentration data revealed that the MicP concentrations and basin characteristics were significantly and positively correlated. Water balance analyses demonstrated that our methods performed well for evaluating the annual flow rate, while reducing the computational load. The total plastic input (MicP + MacP) was widely distributed from 210-4776 t/yr and a map showed that plastic emissions were high for densely populated and highly urbanized areas in the Tokyo metropolitan area, as well as other large urban areas, especially Nagoya and Osaka. These results provide important insights that may be used to develop countermeasures against plastic pollution and the methods employed herein can also be used to evaluate plastic emissions in other regions.



Détection et Caractérisation

How to detect small microplastics (20-100 μm) in freshwater, municipal wastewaters and landfill leachates? A trial from sampling to identification

Xu, Ziqian; Sui, Qian; Li, Aimin; Sun, Ming; Zhang, Liang; Lyu, Shuguang; Zhao, Wentao.

The Science of the total environment : 733, 139218.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139218


The quantification of microplastics (MPs), especially small MPs (20-100 μm), in freshwater environment and wastewaters is a great challenge due to the complexity of environmental compartment. In the present study, a novel method based on the optimization of sampling, pretreatment, and detection was developed for small MPs (20-100 μm) in freshwater and wastewaters. A customized plankton sampler was installed to efficiently collect MPs and avoid sampler clogging; a novel dual filter system simplified the pretreatment, achieving full examination for small MPs in the samples. The recoveries of small MPs at environmental abundance, which were specified for the first time, verified the feasibility of the developed method. The method was successfully applied for small MPs detection in river, municipal wastewaters and landfill leachates, demonstrating a large bias in the determination of MPs if small MPs were not involved in quantification. To the authors' knowledge, it is the first study that realized the determination of such small MPs in the high-strength wastewater, i.e. landfill leachates.



Détection et Caractérisation

In situ surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for detecting microplastics and nanoplastics in aquatic environments

Lv, Lulu; He, Lei; Jiang, Shiqi; Chen, Jinjun; Zhou, Chunxia; Qu, Junhao; Lu, Yuqin; Hong, Pengzhi; Sun, Shengli; Li, Chengyong.

The Science of the total environment : 728, 138449.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138449


The detection of microplastics and nanoplastics in the environment, especially plastic particles in aquatic environments in situ, still faces challenges due to the limitations of current methods, instruments and size of plastic particles. This paper evaluates the potential of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for the analysis of microplastics and nanoplastics. The condition of different tests including the volume ratio of sample to silver colloid, the concentrations of NaCl, and the concentrations of the samples, are assessed for the study of microplastics and nanoplastics (polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP)) in pure water and seawater. A method based on SERS, that uses silver colloid as the active substrate, is developed for the qualitative analysis of microplastics and nanoplastics in aquatic environments. The particle sizes of microplastics and nanoplastics include 100 nm, 500 nm and 10 μm. The Raman signals of microplastics and nanoplastics in pure water and seawater both show good enhancement efficiency. The optimal enhancement factor is 4 × 104. The SERS-based detection method overcomes the limitations of microplastics and nanoplastics in liquids and can detect 100 nm plastics down to 40 μg/mL. It provides more possibility for the rapid detection of microplastics and nanoplastics in aquatic environments in the future.



Détection et Caractérisation

Investigating the distribution and regional occurrence of anthropogenic litter in English marine protected areas using 25 years of citizen-science beach clean data

Nelms, Sarah E.; Eyles, Lauren; Godley, Brendan J.; Richardson, Peter B.; Selley, Hazel; Solandt, Jean-Luc; Witt, Matthew J.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) : 263 (DocId: Pt B) 114365.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114365


Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are designated to enable the management of damaging activities within a discrete spatial area, and can be effective at reducing the associated impacts, including habitat loss and over-exploitation. Such sites, however, may be exposed to the potential impacts from broader scale pressures, such as anthropogenic litter, due to its diffuse nature and lack of constraint by legislative and/or political boundaries. Plastic, a large component of litter, is of particular concern, due to increasing evidence of its potential to cause ecological and socio-economic damage. The presence of sensitive marine features may mean that some MPAs are at greater potential risk from the impacts of plastic pollution than some non-protected sites. Understanding the abundance, distribution and composition of litter along coastlines is important for designing and implementing effective management strategies. Gathering such data, however, can be expensive and time-consuming but litter survey programmes that enlist citizen scientists are often able to resolve many of the logistical or financial constraints. Here, we examine data collected over 25-years (1994-2018), by Marine Conservation Society volunteers, for spatial patterns in relation to the English MPA network, with the aim of highlighting key sources of litter and identifying management priority areas. We found that MPAs in southeast (Kent) and southwest (Cornwall and Devon) England have the highest densities of shore-based litter. Plastic is the main material constituent and public littering the most common identifiable source. Items attributed to fishing activities were most prevalent in southwest MPAs and sewage related debris was highest in MPAs near large rivers and estuaries, indicating localised accumulation. When comparing inside and outside of MPAs, we found no difference in litter density, demonstrating the need for wider policy intervention at local, national and international scales to reduce the amount of litter.



Détection et Caractérisation

Marine debris on two Arctic beaches in the Russian Far East

Kylin, Henrik.

Polar Research : 39 (DocId: 0)

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.33265/polar.v39.3381


In August 2005, marine debris was counted on two Arctic beaches in the Russian Far East. On the north coast of the Chukchi Peninsula east of Kolyuchin Bay, a beach stretch of ca. 2.4 km held a total of 736 items, 0.024 items m(-2), while no more than 0.0011 items m(-2), 12 items in total, were found on a beach stretch of ca. 1.2 km on southern Wrangel Island. The likely explanation for this difference is that the area around the mainland beach is ice-free for a longer period each year, but a contributing factor may be that late spring ice movement removed plastic from the beach on Wrangel Island. The language on the few items with identifiable labels was for the most part Russian or English, making the Chukchi Sea a possible source region. Beaches at the same latitude in the Atlantic may hold more debris on account of the higher human population density, more shipping and transport of floating debris unhindered by a narrow strait that is ice-covered much of the year. Fishing gear blown across the tundra is suggested as a potential threat to reindeer and other terrestrial wildlife.



Détection et Caractérisation

Microplastic abundance, distribution and composition in the mid-west Pacific Ocean

Wang, Sumin; Chen, Hongzhe; Zhou, Xiwu; Tian, Yongqing; Lin, Cai; Wang, Weili; Zhou, Kaiwen; Zhang, Yuanbiao; Lin, Hui.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) : 264, 114125.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114125


Microplastic pollution is widespread across most ocean basins around the world. Microplastics (MPs) are small plastic particles that have a significant impact on the marine environment. Various research on plastic pollution have been conducted in several regions. However, currently, there is limited data on the distribution and concentration of MPs in the mid-west Pacific Ocean. Therefore, this study we investigated the abundance, distribution, characteristics, and compositions of MPs in this region. Sea surface water samples collected from 18 stations showed a microplastic concentration range of 6028-95,335 pieces/km2 and a mean concentration of 34,039 ± 25,101 pieces/km2. Highest microplastic concentrations were observed in the seamount region of western Pacific. We observed a significant positive correlation between microplastic abundance and latitude across the study region. It was observed that microplastic concentrations decreased with increasing offshore distance at sites located on a 154° W transect. Fibres/filaments were the dominant microparticles observed in this study (57.4%), followed by fragments (18.3%). The dominant particle size range was 1-2.5 mm (35.1%), followed by 0.5-1 mm (28.5%), and the dominant particle colour was white (33.8%), followed by transparent (31.0%) and green (24.6%). The most common polymer identified by μ-Raman was polypropylene (39.1%), followed by polymethyl methacrylate (16.2%), polyethylene (14.1%) and polyethylene terephthalate (14.2%). The possible sources and pathways of microplastics in the study area were proposed based on the morphological and compositional characteristics of particles, their spatial distribution patterns, and shipboard current profiling (ADCP). Our study contributes to the further understanding of MPs in remote ocean areas.



Détection et Caractérisation

Microplastic Contamination of Surface Water-Sourced Tap Water in Hong Kong—A Preliminary Study

Lam, Theresa Wing Ling; Ho, Hiu Tung; Ma, Anson T.H.; Fok, Lincoln.

Applied Sciences : 10 (DocId: 10) 3463.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103463


Microplastics have been documented in a wide range of commercially available food products, and the presence of microplastics in tap water has received considerable attention in recent years. Although microplastics in drinking water pose a low concern for human health at current levels of exposure, there is a need to understand the potential pathways for human microplastic exposure. With the application of Rose Bengal staining, microplastics in 110 surface water-sourced tap water samples from urban sources in Hong Kong were qualified and morphologically characterized. A total of 224 items were identified in 86 (78.2%) samples with a mean concentration of 2.181 +/- 0.165 n L-1. Fibrous and smaller (<1 mm) microplastics predominated in samples, accounting for 97.8% and 65.1% of the total microplastic count, respectively. Our results indicated a comparatively low level of microplastic contamination of tap water in Hong Kong. The potential sources of microplastics could be microplastic-polluted water bodies, atmospheric input and mechanical abrasion of plastic equipment during water treatment and distribution.



Détection et Caractérisation

Microplastic Prevalence in 4 Oregon Rivers Along a Rural to Urban Gradient Applying a Cost-Effective Validation Technique

Valine, Amy E.; Peterson, Ashley E.; Horn, Dorothy A.; Scully-Engelmeyer, Kaegan M.; Granek, Elise F.

Environmental toxicology and chemistry :

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.4755


Microplastics are ubiquitous in our environment and are found in rivers, streams, oceans, and even tap water. Riverine microplastics are relatively understudied compared with those in marine ecosystems. In Oregon (USA), we sampled 8 sites along 4 freshwater rivers spanning rural to urban areas to quantify microplastics. Plankton tow samples from sites along the Columbia, Willamette, Deschutes, and Rogue Rivers were analyzed using traditional light microscopy for initial microplastic counts. Application of Nile Red dye to validate microplastics improved microplastic identification, particularly for particles (Wilcox test; p = 0.001). Nile Red-corrected microfiber abundance was correlated with human population within 5 km of the sample site (R² = 0.554), although no such relationship was observed between microparticles and population (R² = 0.183). We found that plastics were present in all samples from all sites, despite the range from undeveloped, remote stretches of river in rural areas to metropolitan sites within Portland (OR, USA), demonstrating the pervasive presence of plastic pollution in freshwater ecosystems. Environ Toxicol Chem 2020;00:1-9. © 2020 SETAC.



Détection et Caractérisation

Microplastics and floating litter pollution in Bulgarian Black Sea coastal waters

Berov, Dimitar; Klayn, Stefania.

Marine pollution bulletin : 156, 111225.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111225


Although marine plastic litter has been recognized as a global problem, there are insufficient data on the extent of plastic pollution in the Black Sea. The results from this pilot study of the floating marine litter and microplastics along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast revealed high quantities of floating litter (60.3-93.8 items.km-2). The microplastic concentrations (1.14 × 104-1.91 × 105 items.km-2, 0.33-490.52 g.km-2) were on average lower than those found in other parts of the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, although the observed ranges were similar. Further studies are needed to elaborate the extent and spatial distribution of this type of pollution in the Black Sea basin.



Détection et Caractérisation

Microplastics and other anthropogenic particles in the surface waters of the Chesapeake Bay

Bikker, J.; Lawson, J.; Wilson, S.; Rochman, C. M.

Marine pollution bulletin : 156, 111257.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111257


Microplastics are a ubiquitous environmental contaminant whose distributions have been correlated with land-use and population density. Although there are numerous studies quantifying microplastics in the environment, local studies help inform sources, pathways, and policy. Here, we measure the concentration of microplastics in the surface waters across the Chesapeake Bay - the largest estuary in the USA. Thirty surface water samples from throughout the Chesapeake Bay were collected with a manta trawl. Samples were manually processed for microplastics and other anthropogenic particles. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to determine the chemical composition of the particles. Higher concentrations were found near major cities and where larger rivers or tributaries met the Chesapeake Bay. Fragments, films, and fibres were the most common morphologies found, and polyethylene and polypropylene were the most common plastic types. These results can be used to inform mitigation strategies for microplastic pollution in the Chesapeake Bay region.



Détection et Caractérisation

Microplastics in specific tissues of wild sea urchins along the coastal areas of northern China

Feng, Zhihua; Wang, Rui; Zhang, Tao; Wang, Jiaxuan; Huang, Wei; Li, Ji; Xu, Juntian; Gao, Guang.

The Science of the total environment : 728, 138660.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138660


Sea urchins serve as an essential niche for benthic ecosystems and are valuable seafood for humans. However, little is known about the microplastics (MPs) accumulation in sea urchins. Here, we investigated the abundances and characteristics of MPs in specific tissues of wild sea urchins for 12 sites across 2, 900 km of coastlines in northern China. Sea urchins from all sites were detected to have MPs, with a total detection rate of 89.52%. The MPs abundance in sea urchins from all sites ranged from 2.20 ± 1.50 to 10.04 ± 8.46 items/individual or 0.16 ± 0.09 to 2.25 ± 1.68 items/g wet weight. The samples from Dalian were found to have the highest value by individual, and samples from Lianyungang had the highest value by gram. Furthermore, MPs were found in different tissues of sea urchins, i.e., gut, coelomic fluid and gonads. The highest abundance of MPs was found in the gut of sea urchins, followed by coelomic fluid and gonads. The size of MPs ranged from 27 to 4742 μm, and the mean size found in gut was bigger than coelomic fluid and gonads. More interestingly, the MPs abundance increased with the decrease of anus size, shell diameter and gonad index (the wet weight ratio of gonad to total soft tissues). The MPs were dominated by fiber in shape, blue-green in colour and cellophane in composition. The high MPs abundance in sea urchins indicates the potential risks to human as they are consumed in many parts of the world, particularly in Asia and Europe.



Détection et Caractérisation

Microplastics in subsurface coastal waters along the southern coast of Viti Levu in Fiji, South Pacific

Dehm, Jasha; Singh, Shubha; Ferreira, Marta; Piovano, Susanna.

Marine pollution bulletin : 156, 111239.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111239


Microplastics (MPs) remain largely understudied in Small Island Developing States. This study is aimed at comparing the abundance and characteristics of MPs in rural and urban marine coastal sites located along the southern coast of Fiji's main inhabited island, Viti Levu. Collection of subsurface waters (at depth of ca. 0.6 m) was performed at seven sites via Niskin bottle. Samples were filtered over a membrane filter to extract MPs and to allow visual analysis and polymer identification by using attenuated total reflectance in Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Findings from this study depict widespread presence of MPs in both urban and rural sites, and show no significant differences in the four parameters studied, i.e. abundance of MP pieces (2.0 vs 1.6 MP/L, respectively), form types (dominance of fibers), size (0.5-0.9 and 1.0-1.4 mm totaling 48% of the samples), and color (blue contributing 30%, and red and black contributing 25% each). These findings challenge the common expectation of a higher MPs pollution in urban areas compared to rural areas.



Détection et Caractérisation

Nano-plastics and their analytical characterisation and fate in the marine environment: From source to sea

Gangadoo, Sheeana; Owen, Stephanie; Rajapaksha, Piumie; Plaisted, Katie; Cheeseman, Samuel; Haddara, Hajar; Truong, Vi Khanh; Ngo, Son Tung; van Vu, V.; Cozzolino, Daniel; Elbourne, Aaron; Crawford, Russell; Latham, Kay; Chapman, James.

The Science of the total environment : 732, 138792.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138792


Polymer contamination is a major pollutant in all waterways and a significant concern of the 21st Century, gaining extensive research, media, and public attention. The polymer pollution problem is so vast; plastics are now observed in some of the Earth's most remote regions such as the Mariana trench. These polymers enter the waterways, migrate, breakdown; albeit slowly, and then interact with the environment and the surrounding biodiversity. It is these biodiversity and ecosystem interactions that are causing the most nervousness, where health researchers have demonstrated that plastics have entered the human food chain, also showing that plastics are damaging organisms, animals, and plants. Many researchers have focused on reviewing the macro and micro-forms of these polymer contaminants, demonstrating a lack of scientific data and also a lack of investigation regarding nano-sized polymers. It is these nano-polymers that have the greatest potential to cause the most harm to our oceans, waterways, and wildlife. This review has been especially ruthless in discussing nano-sized polymers, their ability to interact with organisms, and the potential for these nano-polymers to cause environmental damage in the marine environment. This review details the breakdown of macro-, micro-, and nano-polymer contamination, examining the sources, the interactions, and the fates of all of these polymer sizes in the environment. The main focus of this review is to perform a comprehensive examination of the literature of the interaction of nanoplastics with organisms, soils, and waters; followed by the discussion of toxicological issues. A significant focus of the review is also on current analytical characterisation techniques for nanoplastics, which will enable researchers to develop protocols for nanopolymer analysis and enhance understanding of nanoplastics in the marine environment.



Détection et Caractérisation

Occurrence, distribution and composition of microplastics in the sediments of South Andaman beaches

Patchaiyappan, Arunkumar; Ahmed, Syed Zaki; Dowarah, Kaushik; Jayakumar, Shanmuganathan; Devipriya, Suja P.

Marine pollution bulletin : 156, 111227.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111227


Herein, we report the prevalence of microplastics in the South Andaman beaches, India. The average microplastic abundance of the eight stations covered along the South Andaman beach was found to be 414.35 ± 87.4 particles per kilogram of beach sediment. Among the stations sampled, Kodiyaghat was found with highest microplastic abundance of 973.3 ± 76.59 particles per kilogram of beach sediment and Burmanullah recorded the lowest number of 161.7 ± 32.51. Microplastic particles of different types, size, color and shape were present in all the eight stations sampled. From the Raman spectral analysis, thirteen different types of polymers were identified. The microplastic pollution may be attributed to improper solid waste management, tourism activities and maritime activities. The present study will help in understanding the prevalence, source and pathway of microplastic particles and their affiliated risk to the fragile marine ecosystem.



Détection et Caractérisation

Olive oil-based method for the extraction, quantification and identification of microplastics in soil and compost samples

Scopetani, Costanza; Chelazzi, David; Mikola, Juha; Leiniö, Ville; Heikkinen, Reijo; Cincinelli, Alessandra; Pellinen, Jukka.

The Science of the total environment : 733, 139338.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139338


Microplastics (MPs) have become a pressing environmental concern over the past few years and their extraction from solid samples is a scientific challenge that needs to be faced and solved. Standardized and validated protocols for MPs extraction are lacking and the existing methodology, such as density separation, is often unable to separate high density polymers. The aim of our research was to develop a non-density based, inexpensive, simple and safe method to extract MPs from soil and compost samples. We tested an oil-based extracting technique exploiting the oleophilic properties of plastics. For validating the method, soil and compost samples were spiked with six different micro-polymers: polyethylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polycarbonate, polyethylene terephthalate and polyurethane. The obtained results are promising, and the polymer density had only a small role in the recovery rate: low, medium and high density polymers reached a mean recovery rate of 90% ±2%, 97% ± 5% and 95% ± 4%, respectively.



Détection et Caractérisation

Quantification of microplastic in Red Hills Lake of Chennai city, Tamil Nadu, India

Gopinath, Kalpana; Seshachalam, Srinivasalu; Neelavannan, K.; Anburaj, Vidyasakar; Rachel, Melita; Ravi, Sushmitha; Bharath, Manikanda; Achyuthan, Hema.

Environmental science and pollution research international :

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-09622-2


Inevitable use of plastic materials in our day-to-day life has led to the entry of microplastic into aquatic environments, which are plastics less that than 5 mm. Microplastic is of great concern in recent years due to its impact on humans and aquatic organisms since they absorb organic contaminants and pathogens from the surrounding media due to higher surface and volume ratio. This is the first study attempted to study the distribution and source of microplastic contamination in Red Hills Lake which is one of the freshwater systems supplying water to the North of Chennai city. Thirty-two sediment samples and six water samples were collected covering an area 18.21 km2. The presence of microplastic was analyzed in water and sediment as per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) protocol. The mean concentration of microplastic in water samples was 5.9 particles/L and 27 particles/kg in sediment. In both sediments and water, the most commonly found microplastic types are as follows: fibers (37.9%), fragments (27%), films (24%), and pellets (11.1%). Based on the FTIR, the common types of microplastic were of high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene. Further samples were evaluated for surface elemental composition in order to understand whether heavy metals get adhered to the surface of microplastic using energy-dispersive X-ray. Our results indicated the presence of microplastic in water and sediments which will lead to further study of microplastic presence in biota and microplastic pollution in freshwater systems.



Détection et Caractérisation

Rainfall is a significant environmental factor of microplastic pollution in inland waters

Xia, Wulai; Rao, Qingyang; Deng, Xuwei; Chen, Jun; Xie, Ping.

The Science of the total environment : 732, 139065.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139065


Worldwide, increasing attention is being paid to the issue of microplastic pollution in marine ecosystems, yet there is a relative lack of knowledge concerning the pollution of microplastic in inland water systems, although these microplastics are major sources of ocean pollution. In aquatic environments, previous efforts have mainly been devoted to exploring the impact of human-related activities on microplastic pollution, but little is known about non-anthropogenic effects on microplastic distribution. In this paper, the relationship between rainfall and the microplastic concentration of surface water was studied for the first time. The investigation was conducted in Lake Donghu (the largest urban lake in China) from July 23 to September 1, 2019. The abundance of microplastics in the lake water ranged from 7.4 to 29.6 items/L. The dominant size of the collected microplastics was less than 2 mm, with a dominant fiber shape and a dominant transparent color. Our results demonstrated that microplastic concentration was significantly related to rainfall. Therefore, high frequency sampling and rainfall data are needed to accurately evaluate microplastic pollution as well as its consequences.



Eco-Conception des Nouveaux Matériaux Plastiques

Application of Ash-Polymer Mixtures in the Construction of Forest Roads

Minaev, А.N.; Zubova, O. V.; Kulik, D. M.; Siletskiy, V. V.; Lugovov, V. I.

Lesnoy Zhurnal (Forestry Journal) (DocId: 3) 106–116.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.37482/0536-1036-2020-3-106-116


The construction of forest roads is one of the priority issues of the forest industry. The underdeveloped forest road network does not allow the use of forest resources, which are situated too far from the civil roads because of lower profitability. Expanding the forest road infrastructure will allow to increase mobility as well as profitability of resource extraction. Forest roads are expensive. This is due to the high cost of road construction materials and long distance of their delivery. One of the latest ways of cost reduction of road construction materials is the use of industrial wastes. A study was carried out in order to obtain a pavement layer with high physical and mechanical properties and a relatively low cost from industrial wastes for the problem solving. Household high-pressure polyethylene is used as a binder in the mixture, and ash from incineration of sewage sludge is used as filler. A coagulation-condensation structure is formed due to the use of plastic in the mixture; herewith the material is characterized by high strength and frost resistance. The study has a scientific novelty as the issues of polyethylene adhesion with various fillers are poorly known. Recycled polymers (crushed polyethylene, fraction 1.5-2.5 mm) were used as a structure-forming component. Ash from the sewage sludge incineration obtained at the SUE "Vodokanal of St. Petersburg" was used as the filler material. According to the test results, a material with the following parameters was obtained: the compression resistance of 170.63-552.08 MPa, the elastic modulus of 322-1022 MPa, water absorption within 1 %; that allows using the material in the forest road construction. This material can be used as an application for reinforcing the pavement layer in the forest road construction on weak soils. The use of the obtained material in forest road construction will expand the forest road infrastructure by cost reduction. The studies of the Department of Industrial Transport of the Saint-Petersburg State Forest Technical University show that the high physical and mechanical parameters will increase the service life of forest roads and hence the time between overhauls. These aspects have a positive effect on the profitability of the forest road construction.


Avis TSC : Cet article pourrait inciter à créer une nouvelle catégorie dans notre veille scientifique : Comment polluer plus efficacement la planète de manière scientifique? En effet la simple lecture du résumé nous fait comprendre que l'exploitation des forêts serait beaucoup plus efficace si les routes d'accès coûtaient moins cher à fabriquer. On ne précise pas ici s'il s'agit de forêts gérées de manière durable. Les scientifiques qui ont contribué à réaliser cette étude démontrent la possibilité technique de mélanger différents déchets de plastiques et de cendres d'incinérateur, afin de créer un matériau peu cher qui pourra servir à construire des routes. Il est donc question ici de polluer volontairement les zones forestières avec des débris plastiques car le matériau de construction des routes va inévitablement s'user, en particulier sous l'action du passage des lourds camions de transport de bois. Et les cendres d'incinérateur sont connus pour être très chargées en métaux lourds. C'est sans doute pour cette raison que ces déchets, qui sont difficiles à gérer, sont fournis à bas prix pour cette application. Les auteurs présentent cette avancée technique comme ayant un effet très positif sur la profitabilité de la construction des routes forestières. Le lecteur pourra se faire sa propre opinion sur cette approche que l'on a quand même du mal à considérer comme scientifique ou en tout cas en conscience du respect de l'environnement.


Eco-Conception des Nouveaux Matériaux Plastiques

Biodegradable Films Derived from Corn and Potato Starch and Study of the Effect of Silicate Extracted from Sugarcane Waste Ash

Azevedo, Luciana C. de; Rovani, Suzimara; Santos, Jonnatan J.; Dias, Djalma B.; Nascimento, Sandi S.; Oliveira, Fábio F.; Silva, Leonardo G. A.; Fungaro, Denise A.

ACS Applied Polymer Materials : 2 (DocId: 6) 2160–2169.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1021/acsapm.0c00124


The growing concern with the amount of plastic materials found in the oceans makes it necessary to develop biodegradable materials that have low toxicity to marine animals and humans, but at the same time are resistant to the actions of microorganisms such as fungi or bacteria. On the other hand, agricultural waste rich in inorganic materials (such as silica) is often discarded, while it could be reused as a source of raw material. Considering these points, sodium silicate solution extracted from sugarcane waste ash was utilized to prepare biodegradable bioplastics based on corn starch and potato starch. The starch-based bioplastics were produced by casting and characterized by several physical-chemical techniques evaluating tensile strength, elongation at break, color analyses, transparency, opacity, moisture, and biodegradation assay. Bioplastics prepared with corn starch presented better physical, mechanical, and thermal properties and optical quality than bioplastics based on potato starch. The samples called CS3 and PS3, with 5.0% glycerol, were the most resistant to tensile strengths of 0.73 and 0.36 MPa, respectively. On the other hand, the highest elongation at break values were found for the samples with 7.5% glycerol (CS9, 52.90% and PS9, 49.33%). Corn starch-based bioplastics were more thermally resistant (CS3, 152.86 degrees C and CS9, 135.20 degrees C) when compared to potato starch-based bioplastics (PS3, 140.39 degrees C and PS9, 127.57 degrees C). In general, the addition of sodium silicate solution improved the mechanical and thermal properties of both types of bioplastics. The potato starch-based bioplastics were biodegraded in 5 days, while those made from corn starch took almost 40 days. The inclusion of sodium silicate inhibited fungal growth for both corn starch and potato starch bioplastics. The results suggest that sodium silicate solution obtained from renewable sources can be incorporated into starch-based bioplastics for production of biodegradable packaging with antifungal activity.



Eco-Conception des Nouveaux Matériaux Plastiques

Biodegradable Polylactide-Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate) Compositions Obtained via Blending under Shear Deformations and Electrospinning: Characterization and Environmental Application

Rogovina, Svetlana; Zhorina, Lubov; Gatin, Andrey; Prut, Eduard; Kuznetsova, Olga; Yakhina, Anastasia; Olkhov, Anatoliy; Samoylov, Naum; Grishin, Maxim; Iordanskii, Alexey; Berlin, Alexandr.

Polymers : 12 (DocId: 5)

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051088


Compositions of polylactide (PLA) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) thermoplastic polyesters originated from the nature raw have been obtained by blending under shear deformations and electrospinning methods in the form of films and nanofibers as well as unwoven nanofibrous materials, respectively. The degrees of crystallinity calculated on the base of melting enthalpies and thermal transition temperatures for glassy state, cold crystallization, and melting point for individual biopolymers and ternary polymer blends PLA-PHB- poly(ethyleneglycol) (PEG) have been evaluated. It has been shown that the mechanical properties of compositions depend on the presence of plasticizers PEG with different molar masses in interval of 400-1000. The experiments on the action of mold fungi on the films have shown that PHB is a fully biodegradable polymer unlike PLA, whereas the biodegradability of the obtained composites is determined by their composition. The sorption activity of PLA-PHB nanofibers and unwoven nanofibrous PLA-PHB composites relative to water and oil has been studied and the possibility of their use as absorbents in wastewater treatment from petroleum products has been demonstrated.



Eco-Conception des Nouveaux Matériaux Plastiques

Effect of yerba mate extract on the performance of starch films obtained by extrusion and compression molding as active and smart packaging

Ceballos, Rocío L.; Ochoa-Yepes, Oswaldo; Goyanes, Silvia; Bernal, Celina; Famá, Lucía.

Carbohydrate polymers : 244, 116495.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.116495


Native or hydrolyzed starch and yerba mate extract (10 wt.% or 20 wt.%) films prepared by extrusion and compression molding were investigated. Native starch material (TPNS) exhibited lower water vapor permeability and higher Young's Modulus (E) compared to hydrolyzed starch matrix (TPHS) but decreases in strain at break (εb) and toughness (T). The incorporation of 10 wt.% of extract in TPNS led to greater E and εb and it resulted the most hydrophobic material. Conversely, TPHS with 20 wt.% of additive resulted the film with the highest εb and T, indicating a plasticizing effect of the extract in this concentration and system. All materials disintegrated after 10 weeks of burial, contributing to waste reduction. Biofilms containing yerba mate extract showed antioxidant activity and color changes in different pH, indicating their promising role as active and smart packaging for food, in accordance with the new trends for biodegradable and functional packaging.



Eco-Conception des Nouveaux Matériaux Plastiques

Effects of multiple extrusions on structure–property relationships of hybrid wood flour/poly (vinyl chloride) composites

Nadali, Elham; Naghdi, Reza.

Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials : 089270572093073.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1177/0892705720930737


This study emphasizes on closed-loop recycling of wood flour/poly (vinyl chloride) composites, since there is normally a considerable amount of material waste in wood plastic production lines. Composite materials were produced and subjected to four times reprocessing cycles under industrial conditions. Detailed analytical methods including bending strength, modulus of elasticity, impact strength, scanning electron microscopy, fiber length, water absorption, contact angle, Fourier transform infrared, and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) were conducted to evaluate the effects of recycling on the mentioned composites. Results demonstrated that the recycled composites, except for the four-time recycled ones, had lower bending strength, modulus of elasticity, and impact strength due to fiber-chain scission/fracture resulting from shear stress during reprocessing; however, impact strength remained almost unchanged after the first recycling cycle. Results also revealed that generally the reprocessed composites showed lower water absorption rates due to better fiber wetting and encapsulation. There was also a reduction in hemicellulose hydroxyl groups, rendering the recycled composites less hydrophilic. DMTA results showed an increase in mechanical loss factor (tan delta) for all the reprocessed composites showing a more viscous than elastic nature. The glass transition temperature of Rec4 composites increased due to polymer dehydrochlorination and the resulting cross-linking, which restricted the molecular mobility of the polymer chains.



Eco-Conception des Nouveaux Matériaux Plastiques

Production of Sustainable and Biodegradable Polymers from Agricultural Waste

Maraveas, Chrysanthos.

Polymers : 12 (DocId: 5)

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051127


Agro-wastes are derived from diverse sources including grape pomace, tomato pomace, pineapple, orange, and lemon peels, sugarcane bagasse, rice husks, wheat straw, and palm oil fibers, among other affordable and commonly available materials. The carbon-rich precursors are used in the production bio-based polymers through microbial, biopolymer blending, and chemical methods. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 20%-30% of fruits and vegetables are discarded as waste during post-harvest handling. The development of bio-based polymers is essential, considering the scale of global environmental pollution that is directly linked to the production of synthetic plastics such as polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PET). Globally, 400 million tons of synthetic plastics are produced each year, and less than 9% are recycled. The optical, mechanical, and chemical properties such as ultraviolet (UV) absorbance, tensile strength, and water permeability are influenced by the synthetic route. The production of bio-based polymers from renewable sources and microbial synthesis are scalable, facile, and pose a minimal impact on the environment compared to chemical synthesis methods that rely on alkali and acid treatment or co-polymer blending. Despite the development of advanced synthetic methods and the application of biofilms in smart/intelligent food packaging, construction, exclusion nets, and medicine, commercial production is limited by cost, the economics of production, useful life, and biodegradation concerns, and the availability of adequate agro-wastes. New and cost-effective production techniques are critical to facilitate the commercial production of bio-based polymers and the replacement of synthetic polymers.



Eco-Conception des Nouveaux Matériaux Plastiques

Starch-Based Foam Packaging Developed from a By-Product of Potato Industrialization (Solanum tuberosum L.)

Rodrigues, Nathalie Hamine Panzarini; Souza, Jovani Taveira de; Rodrigues, Reinaldo Luan; Canteri, Maria Helene Giovanetti; Tramontin, Sandra Mara Kaminski; Francisco, Antonio Carlos de.

Applied Sciences : 10 (DocId: 7) 2235.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.3390/app10072235


The use of petroleum-based packaging and its disposal in the environment poses several environmental problems, driving research into the development of biopolymers as substitutes for conventional polymers. Therefore, this study used the by-product of potato industrialization as the main raw material, xanthan gum as a plasticizer, and natural oat fiber as reinforcement to develop a biodegradable foam through thermo-pressing. The morphology, mechanical properties, and biodegradability of the final product were investigated. The water absorption and solubility index were highest in the sample with 20% plasticizer and 20% fiber. The water activity was not affected by variations in additives. The samples with the highest concentration of additives had the highest mechanical tensile strength, but there was a limit to these levels for foam resistance. The most accentuated visual effect was the yellow color. It is believed that hydrolysis was the main foam degradation mechanism, which took between 14 and 20 days for total decomposition. The combination of a by-product from potato industrialization with xanthan gum and natural oat fiber made it possible to produce a promising substitute for synthetic polymers, providing an environmentally friendly solution for both the use of agro-industrial by-products and reducing the volume of petroleum-based packaging waste.



Eco-Conception des Nouveaux Matériaux Plastiques

The physical – mechanical properties of low-density polyethylene films

Markovičová, L.; Zatkalíková, V.; Kojnoková, T.; Gaňa, D.; Liptáková, T.

IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering : 726, 12008.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/726/1/012008


Polyethylene (PE) is the most commonly used polymer. Most of the polymers are processed by the packaging sector. PE products are the most recycled plastic due to the short life of packaging materials. The experiment is based on real issues in the recycling of plastic waste in a world that is increasingly up to date. One way of recycling it is to produce returnable plastic bottles that can be used up to 50 times. The low-density polyethylene (LDPE) film is applied to the plastic bottles before filling with a specific medium. After the contents of the bottle have been consumed, the LDPE film is stripped. Subsequently, a new recyclable film is applied to the bottles used and the process is repeated. Changes in the properties of LDPE films applied to these returnable bottles have been evaluated by several tests (tensile test and water absorption test). The tests were performed on unused LDPE films and on used LDPE films, which were filled with the medium for 3 months. The fill media was chosen from commonly available goods.



Détection et Caractérisation

A review of microplastics pollution in the soil and terrestrial ecosystems: A global and Bangladesh perspective

Sarker, Aniruddha; Deepo, Deen Mohammad; Nandi, Rakhi; Rana, Juwel; Islam, Shaikhul; Rahman, Shahinoor; Hossain, Mohammad Nabil; Islam, Md Saiful; Baroi, Artho; Kim, Jang-Eok.

The Science of the total environment : 733, 139296.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139296


Microplastics (MP) are a persistent and silent threat to the environment and are already considered a significant problem in aquatic environments. However, the presence of MP in soils and terrestrial ecosystems has been largely unexplored. Recent research has identified the risk of MP transfer from terrestrial agriculture to the human food chain. Thus, MP should be treated as a future threat to food safety and sustainable agriculture. Several reviews have focused on MP effects within global environmental matrices. However, scant investigations on the disposition, ecological impact and remediation strategies of MP have been reported in case of unexplored soil ecosystems as compared to aquatic ecosystems. Therefore, this review focuses on the contemporary global MP research with respect to research opportunities and related challenges of MP for the soil and terrestrial ecosystem from a Bangladesh perspective.



Impacts de la Pollution Plastique

Are anthropogenic fibres a real problem for red mullets (Mullus barbatus) from the NW Mediterranean?

Rodríguez-Romeu, Oriol; Constenla, María; Carrassón, Maite; Campoy-Quiles, Mariano; Soler-Membrives, Anna.

The Science of the total environment : 733, 139336.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139336


Microfibres are among the most prevalent type of microplastics in marine environments. Man-made fibres derived from cellulose are distributed worldwide, but are often confused with synthetic plastic fibres and consequently neglected. All these fibres may adversely affect aquatic organisms, but their levels and potential effects in wild fish remain unknown. We analysed anthropogenic fibre (AF) ingestion in the red mullet (Mullus barbatus), at both temporal and geographical scales, to assess potential effects of these fibres on fish health condition. AFs were present in 50% of fish digestive tracts, with a mean of 1.48 AFs per individual (SD = 1.98). In Barcelona, an increase of 46% in AF ingestion was observed in 2018 compared to 2007. AF ingestion also increases by 20% when Barcelona is compared to a less urban area (the town of Blanes). Visual characterization of fibres by typologies-corroborated by Raman spectroscopy-allowed classification and identification of 88% of AFs as cellulosic (57%), and synthetic polymers (PET) (31%). In all sampling stations, the only histopathological alterations were cysts of unknown etiology, and the most abundant parasites were nematodes. None of these alterations, parasite load, or other fish health indicators (condition indices) indicate an effect of AF ingestion.


Avis TSC : Cet article présente les effets de l'ingestion des fibres d'origine anthropogénique par des poissons côtiers de type mulet que l'on trouve communément dans les ports. Les auteurs ont mis en évidence un point important que d'autres publications commencent à révéler, les fibres générées par l'activité humaine sont composées en grande partie de polymères cellulosiques. Dans cette étude spécifique 57 % des fibres ingérées sont de nature cellulosique. Seul 31 % sont constitués de fibres de PET. Ceci pose la question sur la toxicité des particules de micro plastiques lorsque celles-ci sont de type cellulosique. En effet, de tout temps les animaux et les hommes ont été en contact avec ces fibres qui sont très communes dans l'environnement. Concernant les effets de l’ingestion des fibres par le mulet, aucun effet toxique n'a été observé. Il est à souligner que ces poissons choisissent de vivre dans des environnements qui sont très pollués, ils sont connus pour être très résistants à la pollution chimique et donc probablement aussi à la pollution par les micro particules de plastiques. Ce type d’environnement leur offre l'avantage d'avoir peu de compétiteurs et peu de prédateurs qui ne supportent pas ce niveau de pollution.


Impacts de la Pollution Plastique

Effects of short-term exposure to environmentally-relevant concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene-sorbed polystyrene to White seabass (Atractoscion nobilis)☆

Coffin, Scott; Magnuson, Jason T.; Vliet, Sara M.F.; Volz, David C.; Schlenk, Daniel.

Environmental Pollution : 263, 114617.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114617


Plastic marine debris hyper-concentrates hydrophobic contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and can transfer these sorbed contaminants to biota following ingestion. PAHs are known to induce cardiotoxicity and visual toxicity at sublethal doses. Juvenile White seabass (Atractoscion nobilis) fish were fed environmentally relevant concentrations of either virgin polystyrene or benzo(a)pyrene (BaP)-sorbed polystyrene for 5 days and were monitored for changes in phototactic response, swimming behavior, and hepatic cytochrome p450 1A (CYP1A) enzyme activity. No significant differences in the monitored endpoints were recorded in fish that ingested either polystyrene or BaP-sorbed polystyrene relative to control fish following the short-term exposure. However, fish exposed to 252 μg/L BaP alone as a positive control had significantly elevated CYP1A enzyme activity (p = 0.046) and impaired phototactic response (p = 0.020), though no altered swimming behavior was observed (p = 0.843) relative to control fish. These results demonstrate that pelagic fish ingesting environmentally relevant concentrations of BaP-sorbed polystyrene for a short, 5-day duration do not demonstrate measurable changes in vision, swimming activity, nor CYP1A activity. High variability within enzyme activity and behavioral responses suggest that lack of significant effects may be due to low sample size.



Impacts de la Pollution Plastique

Effects of the UV filter, oxybenzone, adsorbed to microplastics in the clam Scrobicularia plana

O'Donovan, Sarit; Mestre, Nélia C.; Abel, Serena; Fonseca, Tainá G.; Carteny, Camilla C.; Willems, Tim; Prinsen, Els; Cormier, Bettie; Keiter, Steffen S.; Bebianno, Maria João.

The Science of the total environment : 733, 139102.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139102


Microplastics (MPs) lipophilic nature and widespread distribution raises concerns due to their increasing presence in the marine environment and their ability to adsorb organic contaminants, as being potential vehicles for transport and potential source of accumulation of organic contaminants by marine organisms. The organic UV-filter, oxybenzone (BP-3) is a constituent of sunscreens and personal care products, entering the marine environment either by direct contact with swimmers or by wastewater effluents. In this study the ecotoxicological effects of exposure to low-density polyethylene (LDPE) microplastics with and without adsorbed BP-3 were investigated in the peppery furrow shell clam, Scrobicularia plana. LDPE microplastics with a size range of 11-13 μm were previously contaminated with an environmentally relevant concentration of BP-3 (82 ng g-1). S. plana individuals were exposed to a concentration of 1 mg L-1 of microplastics with and without BP-3 adsorbed in a water-sediment exposure system for 14 days. Clams were sampled at the beginning of the experiment and after 3, 7, and 14 days of exposure. Multiple biomarkers were analysed to investigate the effect of exposure in different clam tissues, gills, digestive gland, and haemolymph. Antioxidant (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase) and biotransformation (glutathione-S-transferases) enzyme activities, oxidative damage (lipid peroxidation), genotoxicity (single and double strand DNA breaks), and neurotoxicity (acetylcholinesterase activity) were assessed along with two biomarker indexes to assess the overall health status. Results indicate that after 7 days of exposure MPs with adsorbed BP-3 induced oxidative stress and damage, when compared to exposure to virgin MPs and control treatments. Neurotoxic effects were also noted in MPs with adsorbed BP-3 after 14 days exposure, while some evidence points to increased genotoxicity with exposure time. Overall results indicate that gills were more affected by exposure to microplastics than digestive gland and that biomarkers alterations are apparently more related to the toxicity of BP-3 adsorbed than virgin MPs alone.



Impacts de la Pollution Plastique

Ejection, ingestion and fragmentation of mesoplastic fibres to microplastics by Anax imperator larvae (Odonata: Aeshnidae)

Immerschitt, Isabelle; Martens, Andreas.

ODONATOLOGICA : 49 (DocId: 1-2) 57–66.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3823329


Exposure to plastic litter in ecosystems is increasing globally. Marine and terrestrial ecosystems, as well as freshwater ecosystems, are affected. Despite this, the impact of increased exposure to plastics on the freshwater fauna is largely unexplored. The present work investigates the reactions of 42 Anax imperator larvae to plastics in their habitat. Mesoplastic fibres (ca 8 mm long) were presented with a Chironomus sp. larva that was placed behind the fibre. In the majority of the observations, ejection attempts using the labium and the front legs were observed. When ingestion occurred, macerated plastic fibres (0.5-3.5 mm) appeared in the faeces of several individuals. Consequently, Odonata larvae turned mesoplastics into microplastics. It is assumed that the mechanical comminution was achieved by the action of the gizzard, which contains strong chitinous teeth.



Impacts de la Pollution Plastique

How sea urchins face microplastics: Uptake, tissue distribution and immune system response

Murano, Carola; Agnisola, Claudio; Caramiello, Davide; Castellano, Immacolata; Casotti, Raffaella; Corsi, Ilaria; Palumbo, Anna.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) : 264, 114685.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114685


Plastic pollution represents one of the major threats to the marine environment. A wide range of marine organisms has been shown to ingest microplastics due to their small dimensions (less than 1 mm). This negatively affects some biological processes, such as feeding, energy reserves and reproduction. Very few studies have been performed on the effect of microplastics on sea urchin development and virtually none on adults. The aim of this work was to evaluate the uptake and distribution of fluorescent labelled polystyrene microbeads (micro-PS) in the Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus and the potential impact on circulating immune cells. Differential uptake was observed in the digestive and water vascular systems as well as in the gonads based on microbeads size (10 and 45 μm in diameter). Treatment of sea urchins with particles of both sizes induced an increase of the total number of immune cells already after 24 h. No significant differences were observed among immune cell types. However, the ratio between red and white amoebocytes, indicative of sea urchin healthy status, increased with both particles. This effect was detectable already at 24 h upon exposure to smaller micro-PS (10 μm). An increase of intracellular levels of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species was observed at 24 h upon both micro-PS exposure, whereas at later time these levels became comparable to those of controls. A significant increase of total antioxidant capacity was observed after treatment with 10 μm micro-PS. Overall data provide the first evidence on polystyrene microbeads uptake and tissue distribution in sea urchins, indicating a stress-related impact on circulating immune cells.



Impacts de la Pollution Plastique

Impact of Microplastic Fibers from the Degradation of Nonwoven Synthetic Textiles to the Magdalena River Water Column and River Sediments by the City of Neiva, Huila (Colombia)

Martínez Silva, Paula; Nanny, Mark A.

Water : 12 (DocId: 4) 1210.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041210


Magdalena River surface water and shoreline sediments were sampled for microplastic particles at three locations in the city of Neiva, Colombia: upstream, city center, and downstream of the raw wastewater outflow. The absence of an industrial and manufacturing sector in Neiva provided an opportunity to assess the impact of upstream agricultural practices, as well as municipal activities such as wastewater outflow and laundry washing, on the quantity, polymer composition, and morphology of microplastic particles produced per capita and entering a river system. Microplastic particle concentrations increased with downstream distance, with microfiber concentrations ranging from 0.097 to 0.135 fibers/L in the river water and 25.5 to 102.4 fibers/kg in shoreline sediment. Microplastic fragment concentrations were 0.013-0.028 fragments/L in surface water and 10.4-12.7 fragments/kg of sediment. Raman microscope and scanning electron microscopy identified the relative composition of the polymers comprising the microplastic particles was similar regardless of sampling site or whether the sample was collected from the surface water or shoreline sediments, with polypropylene and polyethylene comprising at least 75% of the total polymers in all samples. Average fiber widths of < 20 mu m in all but one sample, along with the lack of acrylic and polyester fibers used predominantly in woven synthetic textiles, indicated that the degradation of nonwoven synthetic textiles is the predominant origin of these microplastic fibers in the Magdalena River.



Impacts de la Pollution Plastique

Impacts of anthropogenic activities on spatial variations of phthalate esters in water and suspended particulate matter from China’s lakes

Li, Yu-Yan; He, Wei; Liu, Wen-Xiu; Yang, Bin; He, Qi-Shuang; Yang, Chen; Xu, Fu-Liu.

The Science of the total environment : 724, 138281.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138281


In the largest developing country, China, plastic has become a serious environmental issue because of its overuse and non-treatment. In fact, plasticizers, such as phthalate esters (PAEs), are more toxic than plastic, and their global awareness is rising. To determine the response of sensitive PAE congeners to the anthropogenic activities in a typical lake ecosystem of China, in the present study, 12 PAEs in the water and the suspended particulate matter (SPM) phases of 46 lakes in China were measured. The concentrations of all the Σ12 PAEs in water and SPM phases ranged from 3.647 to 65.618 μg/L and 0.175 to 10.921 μg/L, respectively. Di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) was the predominant PAEs in the water phase, whereas diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), DnBP, and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) were the dominating PAEs in the SPM phase. Forty-six lakes were divided into four groups based on the anthropogenic activity intensities. The PAEs in both the water and SPM phases had increasing tendency along the human activity gradient. DIBP appears to be a sensitive PAE indicator that could distinguish the lake regions with different human industrial and agricultural activities. Dimethyl phthalate (DMP) and diethyl phthalate (DEP) are intensely affected by industrial development. DnBP and DEHP were positively correlated with agricultural activities, including the use of films and pesticides. It is suggested to control the addition and usage of PAEs in agricultural activities and improve their removal rates in industrial wastewater to reduce the PAE pollution in the water bodies in the environment management of China.



Impacts de la Pollution Plastique

Patterns of plastic ingestion in Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) populations breeding in northern Patagonia, Argentina

Yorio, Pablo; Marinao, Cristian; Kasinsky, Tatiana; Ibarra, Cynthia; Suárez, Nicolás.

Marine pollution bulletin : 156, 111240.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111240


Human waste is a global concern, and volumes are growing rapidly. For opportunistic species, like many birds, urban waste offers alternative food which in turn may lead to plastic ingestion with potential negative effects. We assessed the incidence of plastics and other marine debris in breeding Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) diet at nine colonies located along ~2400 km of coastline from southern Buenos Aires to southern Chubut, Argentina, using regurgitated pellets (n = 2355) and chick stomach content samples (n = 588). Plastics were recorded at all colonies, and incidence varied between 0.0 and 16.2% in adult pellets and 0.0-12.5% in chick stomach content samples, depending on the colony, breeding stage and year. Contrary to our expectation, incidence of debris including plastics in Kelp Gull diet was relatively low despite its opportunistic feeding habits and widespread use of refuse dumps, even at colonies located close (<10 km) to these anthropogenic food subsidies.



Impacts de la Pollution Plastique

The influence of nanoplastics on the toxic effects, bioaccumulation, biodegradation and enantioselectivity of ibuprofen in freshwater algae Chlorella pyrenoidosa

Wang, Fang; Wang, Bin; Qu, Han; Zhao, Wenxing; Duan, Lei; Zhang, Yizhe; Zhou, Yitong; Yu, Gang.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) : 263 (DocId: Pt B) 114593.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114593


Plastic pollution has become a pressing issue due to its persistence in the environment. Smaller plastics are more easily ingested, potentially exerting greater influences on organisms. In this study, the effects of polystyrene nanoplastics (NP) on the toxic effects, bioaccumulation, biodegradation and enantioselectivity of ibuprofen (IBU) in algae Chlorella pyrenoidosa were explored. The influences on the growth rate, chlorophyll a, total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation (MDA) were evaluated after 96 h of exposure to a combination of polystryene NP (1 mg L-1) and IBU (5-100 mg L-1). The results indicated that the inhibitory effect of IBU on C. pyrenoidosa growth was alleviated in the presence of NP. For instance, the 96 h-IC50 value for rac-IBU in the treatment lacking NP was 45.7 mg L-1, and the corresponding value in the treatment containing NP was 63.9 mg L-1. The co-exposure of NP led to a significant enhancement of T-AOC and slight reduction of ROS and MDA compared with the individual exposure (IBU) group, suggesting a decreased oxidative stress. In addition, treatment with NP led to a decreased bioaccumulation and accelerated biodegradation of IBU in C. pyrenoidosa and enhanced removal in the medium. The enantioselective toxicity, bioaccumulation and biodegradation of IBU were observed both in the absence and presence of NP. S-IBU exhibited a greater toxicity, and R-IBU was preferentially accumulated and degraded in C. pyrenoidosa. No interconversion of the two enantiomers occurred regardless of the presence of NP. This consequence implied that the influence of coexistent NP should be considered in the environmental risk assessment of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in aquatic environments.



Impacts de la Pollution Plastique

Trace elements in microplastics stranded on beaches of remote islands in the NE Atlantic

Martins, Inês; Rodríguez, Yasmina; Pham, Christopher K.

Marine pollution bulletin : 156, 111270.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111270


The increased quantity of microplastics entering the oceans is threatening the health of marine ecosystems worldwide. Microplastics are of particular concern because they are available to a wide range of organisms and can possibly transfer potential toxic substances such as trace elements. Herein, we provide baseline information on the spatio-temporal variation of trace elements adsorbed to plastic fragments (1-5 mm) stranded in two beaches of oceanic islands of the Azores archipelago, North-East Atlantic. While trace elements such as Ca, Mg and Fe were found in high concentrations probably as a result of particular features of volcanic characteristics in the region, other elements were particularly low compared to other locations. Our results provide new information on the levels of trace elements associated with microplastics, necessary for the development of a risk assessment framework for plastic pollution in this remote region of the North-East Atlantic Ocean.



Eco-Conception des Nouveaux Matériaux Plastiques

Aluminium Trihydrate-filled Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA/ATH) Waste Powder Utilization in Wood-plastic Composite Boards Bonded by MUF Resin

Vovk, Matej; Sernek, Milan.

BIORESOURCES : 15 (DocId: 2) 3252–3269.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.15376/biores.15.2.3252-3269


An alternative approach to producing a wood-plastic composite (WPC) from wood particles, aluminium trihydrate-filled poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA/ATH) waste powder, and melamine-urea-formaldehyde (MUF) resin is described. The surface of PMMA/ATH powder was modified with ureido- and amino-functional silane coupling agents at four different degrees of modification: 0.3%, 0.5%, 1.0%, and 2.0%. An X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis was executed on a silane-modified PMMA/ATH material, and the results revealed the presence of chemically bonded silanes on the PMMA/ATH surface. Contact angle measurements were also performed to calculate the surface free energies of the modified powders. Water contact angles of modified powders slightly decreasedas surface free energy increased with the degree of surface modification. Mechanical tests of the composites showed that different degrees of surface modification had a significant influence on modulus of elasticity (MOE) and modulus of rupture (MOR) of the composite boards. However, there were no significant differences between the silanes used.


Avis TSC : Voici un article très pointu scientifiquement sur la mise au point d'un nouveau matériau composite à base de polymère plastique. La famille de matériaux concerne les composites bois plastique qui sont utilisés en extérieur pour du matériel de jardin ou la fabrication de terrasse. Un des avantages de cette approche est de réduire la nécessité le traitement chimique du bois afin de le protéger des UV et des attaques de ravageurs. Des mélanges poudre de bois PVC existent déjà depuis de années. Un autre avantage de cette approche est de pouvoir utiliser des déchets de bois, de la sciure, ou du bois de catégorie inférieure qui ne permettrait pas un usinage on objet durable sans ajouter un liant de type colle où comme dans ce cas, un liant de type plastique. Du fait de l'utilisation envisagée en extérieur, les auteurs de cet article n'hésitent pas à utiliser des polymères plastiques dont l'usage est de plus en plus réglementé voire interdit en intérieur. Par exemple le formol n’est plus utilisé ou beaucoup moins dans les matériaux de décoration à l'intérieur des maisons de même, les méthacrylates avec leur dégradation potentielle en monomères acryliques classés cancérigènes, sont de moins en moins appréciés en intérieur. On peut toutefois se poser la question sur la sécurité de ces nouveaux matériaux composites bois plastique car il y aura contact ne serait-ce qu’avec les enfants qui jouent sur les terrasses ou un contact régulier par un usage quotidien du mobilier. Et si une alternative moins complexe techniquement était d'utiliser des essences de bois résistantes à la dégradation telles que le teck, l’acacia, le châtaignier ou d'autres essences qui ne nécessitent pas de traitement chimique. Leur culture raisonnée, en quantité suffisante pour baisser les coûts, permettrait de s'affranchir des matériaux composites dont la fin de vie est problématique pour la partie polymérique en plastique qui posera aussi un problème d'émissions de gaz à effet de serre car ces derniers sont essentiellement d'origine pétrochimique. En fin de vie, le bois peut être brûlé dans un usage domestique : pas de transport et valorisation immédiate en énergie, les cendres constituant un engrais minéral naturel pour le jardin. Mais est-ce que cette solution pourrait faire partie des projets innovants subventionnés par les incitations gouvernementales aux entreprises ?


Recyclage Matière des Déchets Plastiques

Recycling carbon and glass fiber polymer matrix composite waste into cementitious materials

Clark, Edward; Bleszynski, Monika; Valdez, Frank; Kumosa, Maciej.

Resources, Conservation and Recycling : 155, 104659.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104659


Recycling options for fiber polymer matrix composites (FPMCs) are limited since they typically cannot be re-used or re-processed. One source of FPMCs is the utility industry, which is increasingly using hybrid carbon and glass FPMC core high voltage (HV) conductors for energy transmission. As there are currently no recycling methods for these composite cores, we investigated if hybrid carbon and glass FPMC waste could be recycled as an admixture for cementitious materials in order to improve their properties for seawater applications. We assessed the compression strength of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) with 6% wt of various FPMC admixtures before and after accelerated salt-water aging. The experimental part of this research was strongly supported by molecular dynamics simulations (MD) to examine the effect of FPMC admixtures on moisture diffusion in OPC. It was established that recycled finely ground FPMC admixtures can provide a benefit to cementitious materials by decreasing void content and slowing the diffusivity of corrosive compounds such as salt water.



Recyclage Matière des Déchets Plastiques

Transparent Ultraviolet (UV)-Shielding Films Made from Waste Hemp Hurd and Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA)

Zhang, Yi; Remadevi, Rechana; Hinestroza, Juan P.; Wang, Xungai; Naebe, Maryam.

Polymers : 12 (DocId: 5)

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051190


This work proposes a new approach to fabricate highly transparent and flexible composite films that exhibit enhanced UV-shielding properties. Lignin has innate UV-shielding properties. However, when purified lignin, which is conventionally extracted through chemical treatment, is mixed with polymeric materials, its presence negatively influences the transparency of the resulting composite. High transparency and UV-shielding are desirable properties for many applications. In this study, composites were made by mixing lignocellulose particles and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), where lignocellulose particles were obtained from ball-milled waste hemp hurd without chemical treatments. The UV-shielding properties of the resulting composite film, as a function of hemp/PVA weight ratios, were investigated. The intermolecular interactions between the hemp particles and the PVA were characterized using infrared spectroscopy with the presence of -C=O group at 1655 cm-1, providing evidence that the chemical structure of lignin was preserved. The fabricated hemp/PVA films exhibit stronger UV-shielding, in the UVA-I range (340-400 nm) than TiO2/PVA films. The composite films also showed comparable water vapor permeability (WVP) with commercial packaging plastic film made of HDPE (high-density polyethylene). The optimization experiments were reported, with aim at understanding the balance between the UV-shielding and mechanical properties of the hemp/PVA films. The findings of this work can be applicable to the packaging, food and cosmetic industries where UV shielding is of utmost importance, hence adding value to hemp hurd waste.



Politiques et Réglementations

A Horizon Scan of research priorities to inform policies aimed at reducing the harm of plastic pollution to biota

Provencher, J. F.; Liboiron, M.; Borrelle, S. B.; Bond, A. L.; Rochman, C.; Lavers, J. L.; Avery-Gomm, S.; Yamashita, R.; RYAN, P. G.; Lusher, A. L.; Hammer, S.; Bradshaw, H.; Khan, J.; Mallory, M. L.

The Science of the total environment : 733, 139381.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139381


Plastic pollution in the oceans is a priority environmental issue. The recent increase in research on the topic, coupled with growing public awareness, has catalyzed policymakers around the world to identify and implement solutions that minimize the harm caused by plastic pollution. To aid and coordinate these efforts, we surveyed experts with scientific experience identified through their peer-reviewed publications. We asked experts about the most pressing research questions relating to how biota interact with plastic pollution that in turn can inform policy decisions and research agendas to best contribute to understanding and reducing the harm of plastic pollution to biota. We used a modified Horizon Scan method that first used a subgroup of experts to generate 46 research questions on aquatic biota and plastics, and then conducted an online survey of researchers globally to prioritize questions in terms of their importance to inform policy development. One hundred and fifteen experts from 29 countries ranked research questions in six themes. The questions were ranked by urgency, indicating which research should be addressed immediately, which can be addressed later, and which are of limited relevance to inform action on plastics as an environmental pollutant. We found that questions relating to the following four themes were the most commonly top-ranked research priorities: (i) sources, circulation and distribution of plastics, (ii) type of harm from plastics, (iii) detection of ingested plastics and the associated problems, and (iv) related economies and policy to ingested plastics. While there are many research questions on the topic of impacts of plastic pollution on biota that could be funded and investigated, our results focus collective priorities in terms of research that experts believe will inform effective policy and on-the-ground conservation.


Avis TSC : Le problème de la pollution plastique généralisée autour de la planète et de la prise de conscience du grand public, par les médias, a incité fortement les pouvoirs politiques à mettre en place des décisions visant à endiguer ce problème environnemental global. Ils se sont tout d'abord tournés vers les scientifiques, afin de comprendre l'étendue du problème et ses impacts tant sur l'écosystème que sur l'activité économique. Cet article présente l'analyse des réponses de 150 experts scientifiques concernant le problème de la pollution plastique et les priorités à mettre en avant en termes de recherche et de développement. Parmi les grands thèmes abordés, les quatre premiers par ordre de priorité sont les suivants : Premièrement, comprendre les sources des différentes pollutions plastique et leur distribution ; deuxièmement mieux comprendre les impacts de cette pollution sur les écosystèmes et sur la santé humaine ; troisièmement, mettre en évidence les types et les quantités de plastique qui sont ingérés par les animaux et par les hommes et comprendre les impacts ; quatrièmement, comprendre les impacts économique et les effets de différentes politiques sur la gestion de la pollution plastique en particulier celle qui est ingérée et qui se retrouve dans le circuit alimentaire humain. L'approche de cet article, bien qu’exhaustive sur le plan scientifique ne concerne qu'une partie du problème car elle n'aborde pas le modèle économique de notre société. En effet, quelles que soient les décisions politiques, il n'est pas envisageable de réduire significativement la pollution plastique sans modifier profondément le système économique et en particulier éliminer tous les objets à usage unique et toute l'hyper production qui consomme énormément de ressources et qui à terme ne permettra pas de gérer ni les déchets ni la pollution. Un des problèmes de recherche et développement majeur, qui est rarement abordé dans les études, est d'ordre politico-économique: il s'agit de comprendre où mettre la valeur ajoutée dans un nouveau système économique et où mettre les profits des différents acteurs en se passant du modèle d'hyper-production et de société de consommation.


Politiques et Réglementations

Design from recycling: A complex mixed plastic waste case study

Ragaert, Kim; Huysveld, Sophie; Vyncke, Gianni; Hubo, Sara; Veelaert, Lore; Dewulf, Jo; Du Bois, Els.

Resources, Conservation and Recycling : 155, 104646.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104646


With today's continued drive to increase recycling rates of plastics, the low-hanging fruit of clean mono-streams of plastic waste has long since been picked. If Europe's ambitious recycling targets are to be met, plastics waste streams that have until now been labeled 'problematic' and have consistently been sent to incineration, must be considered as well. One such stream is the sink fraction obtained from float-sink sorting of mixed post-consumer packaging waste. It is a very complex stream in terms of composition. Moreover, it contains a sizeable amount of PVC, which is considered detrimental to further mechanical recycling of any mixed plastic waste. Within the current research, the sink fraction was extensively analyzed for composition and mechanical properties, as well as treated for removal of PVC and non-ferrous metals. Subsequently, the Design from Recycling strategy was applied to successfully develop a new product with this material, called the Greentile. The Greentile was effectively manufactured and found to be a useful construction element for slanted green roofs.



Politiques et Réglementations

Implementation of harmonized Extended Producer Responsibility strategies to incentivize recovery of single-use plastic packaging waste in Canada

Diggle, Avalon; Walker, Tony R.

Waste management (New York, N.Y.) : 110, 20–23.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2020.05.013


Millions of tonnes of virgin (primary) plastic are produced annually, while recoverable (secondary) plastic rapidly accumulates as waste in landfills and the environment. Single-use plastics (SUPs) have short lifespans, and most of this waste is generated by packaging from global food industries. Food packaging waste comprises approximately one-third (8 million tonnes) of all Canadian municipal solid waste, and only 20% is recovered for reuse or recycling. Extended producer responsibility (EPR) strategies leverage corporate resources to reduce SUP waste generated by consumers. Implementation of EPR strategies allows local jurisdictions to gain greater control over their waste streams. Although Canada has had a national EPR strategy since 2009, it is currently only implemented for packaging in five provinces (e.g., British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec), and is currently under development in New Brunswick. In this short communication, a case example of EPR implementation in Nova Scotia is provided which highlights the potential economic benefits for municipalities ($14-17 M CAD in estimated savings), for improved solid waste management and for increasing recycling rates. Further, a regional EPR strategy is recommended for all Atlantic Canadian provinces (e.g., Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia) now that the Canadian federal government has announced a move towards zero plastic waste under the Ocean Plastics Charter.



Politiques et Réglementations

Making the circular economy work for human development

Schröder, Patrick; Lemille, Alexandre; Desmond, Peter.

Resources, Conservation and Recycling : 156, 104686.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2020.104686


This paper aims to re-conceptualise and advance the existing frameworks and practical applications of the circular economy (CE) towards a broader approach to development in general and, more particularly, to combine it with the approach for Human Development (HD). The CE is an alternative to the current "take, make, waste" extractive industrial model and offers a practical solution to address global and local environmental challenges, such as resource depletion, marine plastic pollution, and for staying within planetary system boundaries. Although the CE and related concepts such as cradle to cradle provide a most promising alternative to the traditional linear economy model and its impacts on the planets eco-systems, some of the CE key elements have raised debate both in the academic community and among policy makers. One of the debates concerns the missing social or human dimensions of the CE. Likewise, the HD approach lacks considerations of environmental sustainability. Drawing on both academic and grey literature and the authorso research observations and professional experiences in the fields of promoting the CE and international development cooperation for HD, we attempt to develop an integrative conceptual framework of the CE and HD. This framework includes social-economic elements of the transformation from linear to circular economic models, combined with HD from the social sciences and development studies. We thereby complement the technological-material focused CE model that is primarily based on principles of industrial ecology and engineering. We utilize the existing 'circular humansphereo concept to articulate the incorporation of HD into the discussion of CE. By bringing in explicit links with HD, we pursue a double aim: First, to raise awareness and understanding among the CE research community of the missing human dimension in current CE discourse, and second, to familiarise the international development community with the approaches of CE. This will advance the options for adopting CE practices in international development programmes and for the process of implementing the social SDGs concerning HD such as SDG 1, 3, 4, 5, and 10. Finally, we hope that this CE and HD framework can contribute to the resolution of environmental and developmental issues.



Politiques et Réglementations

Plastic bag bans: Lessons from the Australian Capital Territory

Macintosh, Andrew; Simpson, Amelia; Neeman, Teresa; Dickson, Kirilly.

Resources, Conservation and Recycling : 154, 104638.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104638


Bans on single-use plastic shopping bags are amongst the most popular policy interventions taken by governments to address the harms associated with plastics. Yet, there are few published studies on their effectiveness and durability. This article addresses this gap, presenting the results of a study on the impacts of a ban on single-use plastic bags introduced in the Australian Capital Territory in 2011. The study assessed whether the ban has reduced plastic bag consumption and litter, and whether community support for the ban was sustainable. The results suggests the ban has not been overly effective in reducing plastic bag consumption or litter. Over the almost seven-year study period, between 2011 and 2018, the ban reduced consumption of single-use conventional polyethylene bags by similar to 2600 tonnes. However, these reductions were largely offset by increases in the consumption of other bags. The net effect of the ban on plastic consumption over the period was relatively minor; a 275 t reduction. Notwithstanding this, the ban is widely supported. When it was first introduced, 58 % of the community supported the ban. By 2018, this had increased to 68 %. The article explores the implications of the results and the need for better information on plastic bag consumption.



Politiques et Réglementations

Plastic Pollution in Soils: Governance Approaches to Foster Soil Health and Closed Nutrient Cycles

Stubenrauch, Jessica; Ekardt, Felix.

Environments : 7 (DocId: 5) 38.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7050038


Plastic pollution in soils pose a major threat to soil health and soil fertility that are directly linked to food security and human health. In contrast to marine plastic pollution, this ubiquitous problem is thus far scientifically poorly understood and policy approaches that tackle plastic pollution in soils comprehensively do not exist. In this article, we apply a qualitative governance analysis to assess the effectiveness of existing policy instruments to avoid harmful plastic pollution in (agricultural) soils against the background of international environmental agreements. In particular, environmental and fertiliser legislation relevant to soil protection in the European Union and in Germany are assessed. Regulatory weaknesses and gaps of the respective legislation are identified, and proposals for enhanced command-and-control provisions developed. However, the legal analysis furthermore shows that plastic pollution ecologically is also a problem of quantity, which is difficult to solve exclusively through command-and-control legislation. Instead, comprehensive quantity-control instruments to phase out fossil fuels (worldwide and in all sectors) as required by climate protection law can be effective approaches to tackle plastic pollution in environmental media like agricultural soils as well.



Politiques et Réglementations

Recycling and management practices of plastic packaging waste towards a circular economy in South Korea

Jang, Yong-Chul; Lee, Gain; Kwon, Yuree; Lim, Jin-hong; Jeong, Ji-hyun.

Resources, Conservation and Recycling : 158, 104798.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2020.104798


Environmentally sound management of plastic packaging waste is an issue of concern around the world because it causes potential threats to oceans and the environment upon disposal and mismanagement. This study examines the current efforts on recycling of the waste by extended producer responsibility (EPR) in South Korea as well as other countries. Material flow analysis (MFA) was performed on plastic packaging by life cycle. Based on the results in this study, material footprint of common single use plastics (i.e., PET water bottles, plastic cups, plastic bags, and plastic containers and cutlery by food delivery) by consumption was estimated to be on average 11.8 kg or 638 disposable plastics per capita a year, resulting in 32.6 billion disposable plastics and 603,000 ton of waste for disposal in South Korea. Approximately, 3 million ton of plastic packaging waste from household waste streams in 2017 in South Korea was generated and treated by energy recovery with solid refuse fuels and heat recovery, incineration without energy recovery, material recycling, and landfilling. Material recycling and recovery rates of plastic packaging waste from households were relatively low at 13.5% and 50.5%, respectively. It was estimated that as much as 3.6 million ton of CO(2)eq was generated from 2.7 million ton of plastic waste by incineration in 2017. Approximately 6.6 million ton CO(2)eq could be avoided by material recycling. Challenges and efforts have been discussed to improve current recycling system of plastic packaging waste towards a circular economy.



Politiques et Réglementations

Rethinking and optimising plastic waste management under COVID-19 pandemic: Policy solutions based on redesign and reduction of single-use plastics and personal protective equipment

Patrício Silva, Ana L.; Prata, Joana C.; Walker, Tony R.; Campos, Diana; Duarte, Armando C.; Soares, Amadeu M. V. M.; Barcelò, Damià; Rocha-Santos, Teresa.

The Science of the total environment : 742, 140565.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140565


Plastics have been on top of the political agenda in Europe and across the world to reduce plastic leakage and pollution. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted plastic reduction policies at the regional and national levels and induced significant changes in plastic waste management with potential for negative impacts in the environment and human health. This paper provides an overview of plastic policies and discusses the readjustments of these policies during the COVID-19 pandemic along with their potential environmental implications. The sudden increase in plastic waste and composition due to the COVID-19 pandemic underlines the crucial need to reinforce plastic reduction policies (and to implement them into action without delays), to scale up in innovation for sustainable and green plastics solutions, and to develop dynamic and responsive waste management systems immediately. Policy recommendations and future research directions are discussed.


Avis TSC : L’étendue de la pollution plastique généralisée commence à être bien connue du grand public, et de ce fait des nouvelles réglementations prises au niveau des différents pays ont été mises en place récemment. En particulier, on pensera aux interdictions des plastiques à usage unique dans de nombreux produits. Avec le développement de la pandémie au Covid19, des priorités se sont mises en place complétement en opposition avec la réduction des plastiques à usage unique, par exemple. Les raisons invoquées sont en général liées à la sécurité. Les auteurs de cet article montrent qu'il est urgent et important de reconsidérer cet aspect des priorités, car l'évolution de la production de plastique est exponentielle et tout retard de quelques années dans la mise en place des mesures protectives risque d'aboutir à des situations irréversibles au niveau des écosystèmes. Il est connu que la perturbation des écosystèmes naturels entraîne invariablement le déclenchement d’épidémies avec leur potentiel impact global au niveau de la planète. Il est à noter que ce n'est pas simplement le vecteur épidémique qui pose un problème, mais aussi le niveau d'immunité naturelle des animaux et des êtres humains dans un environnement pollué. On sait que, dans ce cas, celui-ci il est très bas et donc la résistance naturelle très diminuée est favorable la dissémination des maladies.


Politiques et Réglementations

When plastic packaging should be preferred: Life cycle analysis of packages for fruit and vegetable distribution in the Spanish peninsular market

Abejón, R.; Bala, A.; Vázquez-Rowe, I.; Aldaco, R.; Fullana-i-Palmer, P.

Resources, Conservation and Recycling : 155, 104666.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104666


Food packaging is an important industrial sector that has great influence on food loss and waste. The search of optimal conditions to minimize the negative impacts of food packaging on the environment must promote the selection of the best available packages. This work has evaluated the environmental impact of the distribution of fruit and vegetables in the Spanish peninsular context using reusable plastic crates and single-use cardboard boxes. Discussion and decision at each phase and step of the methodology were provided, being an example to follow for similar studies in the future. For the analysis, five different impact categories were considered: global warming potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, ozone depletion potential and photochemical oxidant creation potential. In addition, energy and water consumption were taken into account. According to the results of the analysis, the use of reusable plastic crates should be selected, since the values of all impact categories and energy consumption indicators were higher in the case of single-use cardboard boxes. The sensitivity analysis revealed a robust preference for plastic crates in comparison with cardboard boxes even in alternative scenarios, and only the hypothetic reduction of the quality of the cardboard resulted in significant lower impacts for cardboard boxes in comparison to plastic crates in photochemical oxidant creation potential, acidification potential, and energy consumption. This work demonstrates that plastic packaging should not be totally excluded or banned, since it can be the most environmentally friendly option in certain applications.


Avis TSC : Les emballages alimentaires constituent une part importante de la pollution plastique que l'on retrouve à la surface des océans. Des solutions techniques sont envisageables pour substituer ces matériaux plastiques par d'autres matériaux d'origine naturelle, non pétrochimiques… La question qui se pose alors est l'analyse du cycle de vie complète de ces substituts. Sont-ils meilleurs d’un point de vue environnemental et sur quels critères se basent l'évaluation des impacts environnementaux. Les auteurs de cet article présentent un cas concret d'emballage de fruits et légumes en Espagne. Ils ont étudié différents scénarios pour remplacer les emballages en plastique de même que pour augmenter la durée de vie de ces emballages. Ils concluent que les matériaux en plastiques tels qu’utilisés aujourd'hui sont la solution la plus favorable au niveau environnemental. En regardant de plus près, il n'y a aucune faille dans la méthodologie appliquée, seuls les critères de départ sont incomplets. Ils sont focalisés sur le réchauffement climatique, l'acidification des océans, l'eutrophisation, le trou dans la couche d’ozone… À aucun moment les critères de pollution plastique océanique, d'impact sur la faune, d'impact potentiel sur la santé des animaux et des hommes, de la diffusion de molécules toxiques constituées par les additifs des plastiques, n’est pris en compte. On voit clairement que les analyses de cycle de vie telles que celles-ci sont des méthodologies tout à fait appropriées mais qu'il est très important de bien comprendre les critères de départ virgule, les conclusions sont erronées ou avec une portée très partielle.


Plastisphère

Are bacterial communities associated with microplastics influenced by marine habitats?

Li, Jingjing; Huang, Wei; Jiang, Rijin; Han, Xibin; Zhang, Dongdong; Zhang, Chunfang.

The Science of the total environment : 733, 139400.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139400


This study investigates the influence of marine habitats (i.e., the intertidal zone, supralittoral zone, and seawater), and polymer types (i.e., polyethylene, PE; polyethylene terephthalate, PET) on the diversity and structure of bacterial communities in marine microplastics. A three-month exposure experiment was conducted in Zhairuoshan Island, Zhoushan, China, a typical caldera volcanic island with minor anthropogenic disturbances. At the end of the exposure period, the transition for peaks corresponding to oxidized groups was observed using micro-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Damages, including pits and cracks, and microorganisms were observed on the surfaces of the PE and PET pellets using scanning electron microscopy. Next-generation amplicon sequencing of the bacterial communities that had colonized the microplastics revealed that bacterial composition significantly varied depending on marine habitats and exposure times, rather than polymer type. Plastic debris in the intertidal zone exhibited the highest bacterial richness and diversity, and Bacillus was considered a potential degrader of plastic debris. The findings demonstrate that bacterial communities that colonize on microplastics are more potentially shaped by marine habitat and exposure time, and this would deepen our understanding of the ecological niche of microplastics surface.


Avis TSC : Les études sur les populations de bactéries ou plus généralement de micro-organismes présents à la surface des débris plastiques qui flottent en mer se multiplient. Celle-ci met en évidence que les populations observées sont essentiellement dépendantes du lieu où flottent ces débris. Ceci souligne le fait que les plastiques sont des matériaux relativement inertes vis-à-vis de la colonisation par les micro-organismes. Ils servent uniquement de support opportuniste et n’induisent pas de sélectivité particulière. En effet, les bactéries présentes sont en général incapables de dégrader les plastiques sur lesquels elles sont fixées, sauf rares exceptions. On pourrait alors penser que des débris plastiques dans des zones ou les eaux sont très polluées biologiquement, pourraient transporter des micro-organismes pathogènes. La probabilité est en fait très faible car le nombre d'organismes pathogènes dans l'eau est en général très inférieur par rapport au nombre total d'autres microorganismes. De ce fait les surfaces des débris sont colonisées par des bactéries inoffensives qui empêchent l’installation des pathogènes. Ce phénomène, qui est appelé biofilm positif dans l'industrie, a été décrit dans le cas d'installations agroalimentaires ou la présence de ces bactéries inoffensives réduit le risque de contamination par des bactéries pathogènes plus efficacement que des procédures sanitaires utilisant des produits antiseptiques.


Plastisphère

Biofilm formation and its influences on the properties of microplastics as affected by exposure time and depth in the seawater

Tu, Chen; Chen, Tao; Zhou, Qian; Liu, Ying; Wei, Jing; Waniek, Joanna J.; Luo, Yongming.

The Science of the total environment : 734, 139237.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139237


The effects of microbial colonization and biofilm formation on microplastics in the marine and coastal environments have aroused global concern recently. However, the simultaneous influences of exposure time and depth on biofilm formation, and subsequently on the properties variations of microplastics is less studied. In this study, polyethylene (PE) film was exposed at three depths (2 m, 6 m, and 12 m) for three time periods (30 days, 75 days, and 135 days) in the coastal seawater of Yellow Sea, China. The results show that the total amount of biofilms markedly increased with exposure time, but decreased with water depth. Typical morphologies and compositions of biofilms such as coccus-, rod-, disc-shaped bacteria and filaments, as well as a dense layer of extracellular polymeric substances were observed on the surfaces of the PE microplastics. Biofilm formation could decrease the hydrophobicity of PE microplastics, and increase the abundances of hydrophilic C-O and CO groups on the surface of PE. Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteroidia were identified as the core microbiome of the PE associated biofilms, while the dominant bacteria families vary from the early to the late phases of the biofilm formation. Our results indicate that microplastics associated biofilms could affect the environmental processes and fates of microplastics in the marine and coastal environment.



Modélisation de Pollution Plastique Marine

3D hotspots of marine litter in the Mediterranean: A modeling study

Soto-Navarro, Javier; Jordá, Gabriel; Deudero, Salud; Alomar, Carme; Amores, Ángel; Compa, Montserrat.

Marine pollution bulletin : 155, 111159.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111159


The 3D dispersion of marine litter (ML) over the Mediterranean basin has been simulated using the velocity fields from a high resolution circulation model as base to run a 3D Lagrangian model. Three simulations have been performed to mimic the evolution of ML with density lower, similar, or higher than seawater. In all cases a realistic distribution of ML sources was used. Our results show that the accumulation/dispersion areas of the floating and buoyancy neutral particles are practically the same, although the latter are distributed in the water column, 80% of them found in the photic layer (average depth of 35m). Regarding to the densest particles, they rapidly sink and reach the seafloor close to their source. The regions of higher temporal variability mostly coincide with the ML accumulation regions. Weak seasonal variability occurs at a sub-basin scale as a result of the particles redistribution induced by the seasonal variability of the current field.


Avis TSC : Le nombre d'études sur la pollution plastique réalisées en Méditerranée, permet d'affiner la modélisation de la dispersion des particules de plastiques. Cet article présente un modèle 3D qui intègre à la fois la distribution horizontale et verticale des plastiques avec une résolution de 2 à 3 km. La première constatation est que les déchets ayant une flottabilité positive ou neutre se répartissent dans la zone euphotique (0 - 35 m). Ceux à flottabilité négative, sédimentent très rapidement sur les fonds non loin de leur points d'émission le long des côtes. Globalement, ce sont les zones où les courants présentent le plus de variabilité saisonnière qui sont les zones d'accumulation des déchets à flottabilité positive ou neutre. Par exemple, en Adriatique, dans le golfe de Gabes, le long de la Catalogne, de la Sicile et dans l'est du bassin Levantin. Autour des Baléares, ce sont les déchets flottants qui s'accumulent. Ce modèle permet d'envisager des campagnes de prélèvements ou de nettoyage ciblées sur les zones d'accumulation. Il sera complété par les effets des variations saisonnières des apports de déchets plastiques et des variations de populations sur certaines côtes touristiques.


Modélisation de Pollution Plastique Marine

A global assessment of the relationship between anthropogenic debris on land and the seafloor

Roman, Lauren; Hardesty, Britta Denise; Leonard, George H.; Pragnell-Raasch, Hannah; Mallos, Nicholas; Campbell, Ian; Wilcox, Chris.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) : 264, 114663.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114663


Pollution of coastal and marine environments by mismanaged anthropogenic debris is a global threat requiring complex, multilateral solutions and mitigation strategies. International efforts to catalogue and quantify the density, extent and nature of mismanaged waste have not yet assessed the heterogeneity of debris between nearby areas. Better understanding of how debris types and density can be used as a proxy between regions and between land and seafloor habitats at a global scale can aid in developing cost effective and representative debris monitoring systems. Using volunteer collected clean-up and survey data, we compared the proportion and density of both total debris and specific items across 19,428 coastal land and seafloor sites from International Coastal Cleanups and Dive Against Debris surveys, from 86 countries between 2011 and 2018. We show that although some items common on land are also common on the seafloor, there is an overall global mismatch between debris types and densities on land and the seafloor from nearby areas. Correlations in land/seafloor debris type/density occurred primarily for items which entangle and/or sink, including fishing line, plastic bags, glass and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. Minimal similarity between land and seafloor surveys occurs for items which float or degrade. We suggest that to accurately evaluate local debris density, land and seafloor surveys are required to gain a holistic understanding. When detailed information on debris type, relative concentration, and likely source and transport are assessed, more cost effective and efficient policy interventions can be designed and implemented from local through to global scales.



Modélisation de Pollution Plastique Marine

Freshwater microplastic concentrations vary through both space and time

Stanton, Thomas; Johnson, Matthew; Nathanail, Paul; MacNaughtan, William; Gomes, Rachel L.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) : 263 (DocId: Pt B) 114481.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114481


Plastic pollution represents one of the most salient indicators of society's impact on the environment. The microplastic component of this is ubiquitous, however, microplastic studies are seldom representative of the locations they sample. Over 12 months we explored spatiotemporal variation in microplastic prevalence across a freshwater system and in atmospheric deposition within its catchment, in one of the most temporally comprehensive studies of microplastic pollution. Microplastics were quantified in low concentrations (max 0.4 particles L-1) at all freshwater sites, including upstream of urban areas, and on rivers that do not receive wastewater treatment plant effluent. Extrapolated microplastic abundances at each site varied by up to 8 orders of magnitude over the course of the sampling campaign, suggesting that microplastic surveys that do not account for temporal variability misrepresent microplastic prevalence. Whilst we do not wish to underplay the potential impacts of microplastic particles in the environment, we argue that microplastic pollution needs to be placed in a more critical context, including assessment of temporal variability, to appropriately inform legislators and consumers.



Modélisation de Pollution Plastique Marine

From macro to micro, from patchy to uniform: Analyzing plastic contamination along and across a sandy tide-less coast

Chubarenko, I.; Esiukova, E.; Khatmullina, L.; Lobchuk, O.; Grave, A.; Kileso, A.; Haseler, M.

Marine pollution bulletin : 156, 111198.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111198


In search of an effective method to evaluate plastic contamination, macrolitter (> 25 mm), mesolitter (5-25 mm), large microlitter (2-5 mm), large and small microplastics (2-5 mm and 0.5-2 mm) abundances in surface beach sands were simultaneously determined by two methods in four beach zones at six locations along the 100-km-long marine coast of the Curonian Spit National Park and the neighboring cities. Mean (median) content of plastic items per m(2) is 0.85 (0.33) for macro-, 1.48 (0.40) for meso-, 3.35 (0.68) for large microlitter, and 3235 (1800) for microplastics (0.5-5 mm). The distribution of litter and microplastics (0.5-5 mm) is highly variable along and across the beach. The abundance of small-microplastics (0.5-2 mm) at the beach face is similar for all the locations and replicates. Swash-zone mixing, water percolation, importance of sediment pore size (rather than grain size), natural sorting of plastic particles at the beach face are considered.



Modélisation de Pollution Plastique Marine

Modelling the global impact of China’s ban on plastic waste imports

Huang, Qiao; Chen, Guangwu; Wang, Yafei; Chen, Shaoqing; Xu, Lixiao; Wang, Rui.

Resources, Conservation and Recycling : 154, 104607.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104607


China has long been the world's leading plastic waste importer. However, in January 2018 the Chinese Government enacted a new policy to permanently ban the import of most plastic waste into the country. This raises an important question: what will the impact of this policy be both domestically and globally? It is argued that the answer to this question can in part be systematically revealed by employing three methods of analysis. (1) A combined multiregional input-output model with structural path analysis (SPA) to understand how consumption patterns domestically and globally drive China's plastic waste imports. (2) An ecological network analysis to identify which region is the dominant controller of the global plastic waste trade network. Lastly, (3) a hypothetical extraction method to investigate the value-added change for China and the increased requirement of waste treatment capacity for other economies. The results indicate that the imported plastic waste was mainly driven by China's domestic consumption of products containing recycled plastic. Given this demand, it is recommended that the Chinese Government undertake various actions to increase local plastic waste recycling to compensate for the loss of recycled plastic material since the import ban took place. China is a dominant controller, along with the US, the European Union and Germany of the global plastic waste trade network. At this stage it is not possible for other large economies to replace the role of China in the short term. China's waste import ban caused a minor economic loss for China, however, it has resulted in the need for other economies to increase their waste treatment capacity. As well as increasing local plastic waste recycling, it is recommended the Chinese Government consider reopening imports for high quality recycled material and to seek global collaboration, which would not only ease the shortage of recycled plastic material but also buy time for other economies to build new waste treatment plants.



Modélisation de Pollution Plastique Marine

Storm events as key moments of microplastic contamination in aquatic ecosystems

Hitchcock, James N.

The Science of the total environment : 734, 139436.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139436


Microplastic (MP) pollution is an emerging issue in aquatic sciences. Rain and storm events are responsible for the mobilization and transport of a range of pollutants in aquatic systems, yet to date no study has examined how microplastic abundance changes in waterways during such events. The aim of this study was to determine how microplastic concentrations changed over the course of the storm event in an urban estuary. Sampling was conducted at high frequency before, during, and after a storm event that caused flooding in the Cooks River estuary, Australia. Microplastic abundance increased during two days of heavy rain from 400 particles m3 before storm event to up to 17,383 particles m3 after the event. Variation in microplastic abundance was positively related to five-day average antecedent rainfall. The results highlight the importance of rain and storm events as key moments of microplastic contamination in aquatic systems. The results have implications for considering the maximum number of microplastics that aquatic life may be exposed to and the importance of strategies to manage stormwater to minimize the input of microplastics to aquatic ecosystems.



Modélisation de Pollution Plastique Marine

The key role of canyons in funnelling litter to the deep sea: A study of the Gioia Canyon (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

Pierdomenico, Martina; Casalbore, Daniele; Chiocci, Francesco Latino.

Anthropocene : 30, 100237.

DOI-Link : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ancene.2020.100237


Litter is a significant environmental issue, threatening all ocean environments including the deep sea, where little is known about the extent of the threat. This study collected underwater videos on shelf-indenting canyons (the Gioia and Petrace Canyon) and adjacent sectors to characterize benthic litter and its distribution patterns. A high density of litter was present in the canyon thalwegs (up to 56.3 items/100 m), where similar to 95 % of observed debris was concentrated. Litter primarily comprised of plastic (similar to 90 %). The presence of household objects intermingled with vegetal material indicates a strong influence of land-based sources for litter in these areas. Sedimentary gravity flow processes transported natural and anthropogenic debris downslope and may determine its burial beneath the seafloor. Another litter transport mechanism is the presence of light items, observed while drifting above the seafloor under the action of down-canyon bottom currents. This phenomenon was frequently documented within Gioia Canyon, where up to 74 drifting items were counted in one hour of video. Conversely, a lower litter concentration was found along the continental margin, where items were mostly fishing-related. Findings from this study confirm that canyons act as conduits for land-sourced debris and litter transport from coastal to deep-sea environments. The funnelling of a large amount of plastic to the deep sea through multiple processes indicates that the magnitude of this pollution may be greater than expected. This pollution could concentrate in canyons along continental margins and possibly at the mouths of canyons at the base of the slope. This issue requires urgent attention, as understanding of deep-sea litter distribution is still limited and potential impacts to benthic ecosystems are poorly understood.



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