Special Issue "Microplastics - Macro Challenge for Environmental Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Andrés Rodríguez-Seijo
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR), University of Porto, Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, Av. General Norton de Matos s/n, 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal
Interests: agricultural plastics, microplastics, potentially toxic elements, soil science, SUITMAs

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Plastic contamination is a current environmental issue and a concern for all ecosystems, even reaching the Antarctic habitat with adverse impacts for environments, ingestion of plastic and microplastics by aquatic and terrestrial fauna, carriers of contaminants and the release of the absorbed contaminants and additives to the environment.

Although the microplastics issue was reported for the first time in the 1970s, research into the microplastics boom began two decades ago. In those years, research about plastic contamination was focused on seas and oceans as a final sink of plastics, but plastic contamination is also an environmental concern in terrestrial areas and continental water streams. Both areas are the primary source of plastic, mainly terrestrial ecosystems, but have been forgotten for several years. In this sense, a new environmental awareness appeared in the last years from the general population for plastic reduction, and some governments are also working on the adoption of new guidelines on single-use plastics to reduce marine litter.

More knowledge is needed to understand the fate and behaviour of (micro-)plastics, new analytical methodologies for sampling and characterisation, mitigation measures, (bio)-degradation techniques, environmentally friendly alternatives of plastics, legislation, economic impacts and ecotoxicological effects of plastics, which sometimes are not well described, especially when plastics have additives or act as carriers of contaminants in environmental matrices.

In addition, research was focused on microplastics, but it is also needed to understand the impact of nanoplastics and to improve the knowledge of macroplastics.

We welcome the submission of review and research papers, both theoretical, practical contributions and case studies. All kinds of research, including negative results, are welcomed. All submissions will be subjected to a peer review before publication.

Dr. Andrés Rodríguez-Seijo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • agricultural lands
  • aquatic ecosystems
  • biodegradable plastics
  • carriers of contaminants
  • ecotoxicological effects
  • emerging pollutants
  • marine microplastics
  • nanoplastics
  • oceans
  • polymers
  • terrestrial ecosystems
  • sediments
  • streams

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Microplastics in Honey, Beer, Milk and Refreshments in Ecuador as Emerging Contaminants
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5514; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145514 - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
According to the latest research, marine products have the greatest potential for microplastic (MPs) contamination. Therefore, their presence in terrestrial food has not managed to attract much attention—despite the fact that in the future they may represent a serious environmental risk. Research conducted [...] Read more.
According to the latest research, marine products have the greatest potential for microplastic (MPs) contamination. Therefore, their presence in terrestrial food has not managed to attract much attention—despite the fact that in the future they may represent a serious environmental risk. Research conducted in Europe and the US has indicated the presence of MPs in tap water, bottled water, table salt, honey, beer and snails for human consumption. The presence of MPs in food has not yet been evaluated in Latin America. This work focused on evaluating two widely consumed beverages: milk and soft drinks. Furthermore, honey and beer samples were analyzed and compared to findings in the literature. All products were sourced in Ecuador. In order to determine correlations with the intensity of anthropogenic activity, samples of both industrially processed and craft products were studied. For the analysis, an improvement of previous techniques used to determine MPs in honey was applied. This technique uses microfiltration followed by degradation of organic matter with hydrogen peroxide—and finally, continuous rinsing with deionized water. Size ranges were established between 0.8–200 mm. The number of microplastics found was between 10 and 100 MPs/L, with an average of around 40 MPs/L. The sizes of the particles found in the study are in the range of 13.45 and 6742.48 μm for the fibers, and between 2.48 and 247.54 μm for the fragments. From the composition analysis carried out with FTIR, we were able to confirm the presence of 12% of microplastic. The results generally showed a greater presence of MPs compared to those registered in Europe, probably due to processing methods rather than environmental pollution. Regarding composition, the main microplastics found were polyethylene, polypropylene and polyacrylamide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microplastics - Macro Challenge for Environmental Sustainability)
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Open AccessOpinion
Emerging Concerns about Microplastic Pollution on Groundwater in South Korea
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5275; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135275 - 30 Jun 2020
Abstract
If human history has thus far been divided into the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age, then modern times can be considered the Plastic Age [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microplastics - Macro Challenge for Environmental Sustainability)
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