Plastics in the Marine Environment: The Dark Side of a Modern Gift

Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 220)


Plastics are one of the most widely used materials in the world; they are broadly integrated into today’s lifestyle and make a major contribution to almost all product areas. The typical characteristics that render them so useful relate primarily to the fact that they are both flexible and durable. These characteristics are very useful when plastics are used in everyday life. But when plastics are discarded into the environment they can persist for very long periods of time. Because of their nearly indestructible morphology and the toxins they contain, plastics can seriously affect ecosystems (UNEP 2005).


United Nations Environmental Programme Green Turtle Fishing Gear Marine Debris Plastic Particle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank Salko de Wolf and Dirk Bruin for providing some very useful photos.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem DynamicsAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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