Threats Underestimated in Freshwater Plastic Pollution: Mini-Review

  • Martín C. M. BlettlerEmail author
  • Karl M. Wantzen


Plastic pollution is one of the most acute environmental topics of our time. While there is a great scientific effort to tackle this problem, it has not always been well-coordinated or properly targeted. In this short review, we call for scientists to get involved in three crucial topics (threats) underestimated—or ignored—in freshwater systems: (i) plastic-species entanglement, (ii) plastic as nesting material, and (iii) macroplastic debris coming from mismanaged household solid waste. Reducing the knowledge gaps between marine and freshwater environments will be crucial to solute the plastic pollution problem effectively and globally. Therefore, we make a plea here to reinforce research activities on these three issues in freshwater environments worldwide.


Plastic pollution Freshwater Macroplastic Entanglement Nesting material 



This research was financially supported by The Rufford Foundation (Grant no. 26610-2). This paper was developed under the auspices of the UNESCO Chair on River Culture/Fleuves et Patrimoine granted to K.M. Wantzen. We would like to thank the reviewers for their thoughtful comments and efforts towards improving our manuscript.


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Supplementary data

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    2) List of the articles reviewed on the topic of “macroplastics vs. microplastics in freshwater environments”. Sources: Blettler et al. (2018).

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The National Institute of Limnology (INALI; CONICET-UNL)Ciudad Universitaria (3000)Santa FeArgentina
  2. 2.UNESCO Chair “River Culture - Fleuves et Patrimoine”, Interdisciplinary Research Center for Cities, Territories, Environment and Society (CNRS UMR CITERES)Tour UniversityToursFrance

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