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dc.contributor.authorFrias, Joao
dc.contributor.authorNash, Roisin
dc.contributor.authorPagter, Elena
dc.contributor.authorStothra Bhashyam, Sindhura
dc.contributor.authorMalcolm, Deegan
dc.creatorFrias, Joao
dc.identifier.citationStothra Bhashyam, S., Nash, R., Deegan, M., Pagter, E., Frias., J., (2021). Microplastics in the marine environment: sources, impacts and recommendations. Research@THEAen_US
dc.descriptionCitation and disclaimer This technical report was produced by the marine microplastic research team from the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre, at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (MFRC GMIT), and was commissioned by Seas At Risk VzW (SAR) with support from the Senior Marine Litter Policy Officer Frédérique Mongodin. The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion on the part of MFRC GMIT or SAR concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city, or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The views expressed in this report might not necessarily reflect those of the organisations and expert participants who supported the work, and therefore do not compromise them. The authors warrant that they have taken all reasonable care to ensure the accuracy and quality of information provided; however, this does not guarantee that the information is free from errors or omissions. Expert interviews were conducted as part of this study, to which detailed information was provided to each participant prior the interview. The interviews followed the guidelines of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679) and were only conducted after provision of individual consent. The authors acknowledge the contributions of the following participants, listed in alphabetical order: Alina Wieczorek; Alvise Vianello; Charlotte Laufkötter; Chelsea Rochman; Colin Hannon; Cristina Panti; Erik van Sebille; François Galgani; Filipa Bessa; Giuseppe Suaria; Hans Peter Arp; Juliana Ivar do Sul; Laura Foster; Laurent Lebreton; Patricia Burkhardt-Holm; Sedat Gündoğdu; Stefania Di Vito; Stefanie Werner; Susanne Kühn; Thomas Maes; Tim van Emmerik; Tonia Astrid Capuano and Valeria Botta. Graphic design and cover art *Copyright Malcolm Deegan 2021, all rights reserved. Disclaimer: dissemination/extraction of cover art or design elements/images and/or infographics are strictly prohibited. Use of design elements/images/infographics/cover art are strictly for this online document only. Fair usage is not authorised nor any dissemination for promotional/outreach/social media/print or any other purpose not mentioned here. www.maldeegan.comen_US
dc.description.abstractPlastic pollution in the marine environment has been consistently reported since the late 1960s, however, recent evidence of global widespread microplastic pollution has led to an exponential increase in both research and policy efforts. This report reviews recent publications on the effects and impacts of microplastics in the marine environment with the aim to provide useful information for decision-makers, stakeholders, researchers working in this field, and the general public. Every effort has been undertaken here to verify valid sources of information while interacting with marine litter and microplastic experts to ensure that the most recent and reliable information available is part of this report. It is common to refer to the topic of microplastics with prudence due to the many uncertainties associated with the lack of common definitions or standardised methodologies for sampling, processing, data analysis, and reporting. However, it is important to take stock of the multiple efforts conducted thus far by many researchers throughout the world. This report does not intend to diminish the contribution that plastic as a material has made to the socio-economic development of our species or the immense added value it has contributed to several research fields including medicine and computing. The future challenges associated with plastic pollution lie in the distinction between essential and non-essential single-use items; on efficient and adequate global solid waste and wastewater management; and on eco-design approaches that follow universal circular economy principles. The combination of responses to these challenges will lead to the reduction of the enormous quantities of plastic that are accidentally or intentionally disposed of in the marine environment, every year. For this report, two main definitions are of particular importance. The first one is marine litter, defined by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) as: “any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material that is deliberately or unintentionally discarded, disposed of, abandoned or transported by winds, rivers and animals into the marine and coastal environment”. The second definition is microplastics, here following Frias and Nash, 2019, and defined as “any synthetic solid particle or polymeric matrix, with regular or irregular shape and with size ranging from 1 μm to 5 mm, of either primary or secondary manufacturing origin, which are insoluble in water”. This report focuses on both primary and secondary microplastics, meaning, plastic items that are produced to have microscopic dimensions or that result from the fragmentation and degradation of larger items, respectively. This report focuses on the marine environment and is divided into four chapters which address the (1) scale of the marine microplastic pollution through its sources and pathways, (2) the known and most important impacts, (3) future monitoring based on expert opinion and a final chapter on (4) recommendations to minimise and mitigate the plastic problem. It is the authors’ intention that the report stimulates dialogue among stakeholders and decision-makers, and that by doing so, this will lead to awareness-raising and prompt action, particularly towards phasing out non-essential single-use items and intentionally added microplastics in personal care and other relevant consumer products; as well as promoting eco-design approaches that allow plastics to fully move towards a circular economy paradigm. It is time to flatten the plastic curve.en_US
dc.publisherResear@THEA GMITen_US
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International*
dc.sourcelink to Research@THEA once the URL is availableen_US
dc.subjectMarine debrisen_US
dc.subjectSustainable Development Goalsen_US
dc.subjectPlastic pollutionen_US
dc.subjectmarine microplasticsen_US
dc.subjectAnthropogenic litteren_US
dc.subjectpolicy recommendationsen_US
dc.titleMicroplastics in the marine environment: Sources, Impacts & Recommendationsen_US
dc.contributor.affiliationGalway-Mayo Institute of Technologyen_US
dc.contributor.affiliationMarine and Freshwater Research Centreen_US
dc.contributor.sponsorSeas at Risken_US
dc.coverageMarine microplastics with focus on the European contexten_US
dc.subject.departmentMarine and Freshwater Research Centre (MFRC), Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), Dublin Rd., Galway H91 T8NW, Irelanden_US
dc.audiencedecision-makers, policymakers, researchers, academics, general publicen_US

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