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Mitigation measures to avert the impacts of plastics and microplastics in the marine environment (a review)

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Abstract

The increasing demand for and reliance on plastics as an everyday item, and rapid rise in their production and subsequent indiscriminate disposal, rise in human population and industrial growth, have made the material an important environmental concern and focus of interest of many research. Historically, plastic production has increased tremendously to over 250 million tonnes by 2009 with an annual increased rate of 9%. In 2015, the global consumption of plastic materials was reported to be > 300 million tonnes and is expected to surge exponentially. Because plastic polymers are ubiquitous, highly resistant to degradation, the influx of these persistent, complex materials is a risk to human and environmental health. Because microplastics are principally generated from the weathering or breakdown of larger plastics (macroplastics), it is noteworthy and expedient to discuss in detail, expatiate, and tackle this main source. Macro- and microplastic pollution has been reported on a global scale from the poles to the equator. The major problem of concern is that they strangulate and are ingested by a number of aquatic biota especially the filter feeders, such as molluscs, mussels, oysters, from where it enters the food chain and consequently could lead to physical and toxicological effects on aquatic organisms and human being as final consumers. To this end, in order to minimise the negative impacts posed by plastic pollution (macro- and microplastics), a plethora of strategies have been developed at various levels to reduce and manage the plastic wastes. The objective of this paper is to review some published literature on management measures of plastic wastes to curb occurrence and incidents of large- and microplastics pollution in the marine environments.

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Acknowledgements

The first author would like to appreciate Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), with code number 91534748, desk 431, for full scholarship and financial support during his master’s degree program at the University of Bremen, Germany. Special thanks to Dr. Thava Palanisami, University of Newcastle, Australia for proof-reading, insights, suggestions and comments to the whole write up.

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Ogunola, O.S., Onada, O.A. & Falaye, A.E. Mitigation measures to avert the impacts of plastics and microplastics in the marine environment (a review). Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 9293–9310 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-1499-z

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