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Marine Plastic Pollution: Sources, Impacts, and Policy Issues

Journal article
Authors Bethanie Carney Almroth
Håkan Eggert
Published in Review of Environmental Economics and Policy
Volume 13
Issue 2
Pages 317-326
ISSN 1750-6816
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Department of Economics
Pages 317-326
Language en
Keywords microplastics, debris, environment, organisms, ingestion, exposure, Business & Economics, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, SAMP, 2015, Sources, fate and effects of micro- plastics in the marine environment: a global assessment
Subject categories Environmental Sciences


Plastics have been instrumental in providing access to clean drinking water, medical applications, and improved hygiene and food safety. However, plastics also cause problems. More than 10 million tons of plastic enter the oceans annually. Marine plastic pollution has documented impacts on marine organisms and ecosystem services. The use of chemical additives in plastics also poses a potential threat to human health. While desirable, recycling of plastics is currently constrained by material and chemical complexity, limitations in available technologies, and market demands. This article provides a brief introduction to plastic materials, marine plastic pollution, and its potential effects on marine ecosystems and human health. We also discuss some of the policy and technical issues and suggest priorities for further research.

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