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Current research trends on plastic pollution and ecological impacts on the soil ecosystem: A review

Yooeun Chae, Youn-Joo An
Environmental Pollution 2018, 240: 387-395
29753246
Plastic pollution in the environment is currently receiving worldwide attention. Improper dumping of disused or abandoned plastic wastes leads to contamination of the environment. In particular, the disposal of municipal wastewater effluent, sewage sludge landfill, and plastic mulch from agricultural activities is a serious issue and of major concern regarding soil pollution. Compared to plastic pollution in the marine and freshwater ecosystems, that in the soil ecosystem has been relatively neglected. In this study, we discussed plastic pollution in the soil environment and investigated research on the effects of plastic wastes, especially microplastics, on the soil ecosystem. We found that earthworms have been predominantly used as the test species in investigating the effects of soil plastic pollution on organisms. Therefore, further research investigating the effects of plastic on other species models (invertebrates, plants, microorganisms, and insects) are required to understand the effects of plastic pollution on the overall soil ecosystem. In addition, we suggest other perspectives for future studies on plastic pollution and soil ecotoxicity of plastics wastes, providing a direction for such research.

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