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Open Access

REVIEW

Review of Microplastic Pollution in the Environment and Emerging Recycling Solutions

Gregory Reimonn1, Taofeng Lu1, Neeti Gandhi2, Wan-Ting Chen1,*
1 Department of Plastic Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA, 01854, USA.
2 School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 47906, USA.
* Corresponding Author: Wan-Ting Chen. Email: .

Journal of Renewable Materials 2019, 7(12), 1251-1268. https://doi.org/10.32604/jrm.2019.08055

Abstract

Microplastic pollution represents a side-effect stemming from a global plastic waste mismanagement problem and includes degraded particles or mass produced plastic particles less than 5 mm in largest dimension. The small nature of microplastics gives this area of pollution different environmental concerns than general plastic waste in the environment. The biological toxicity of particles, their internal components, and their surface level changes all present opportunities for these particles to adversely affect the environment around them. Thus, it is necessary to review the current literature surrounding this topic and identify areas where the study of microplastic can be pushed forward. Here we present current methods in studying microplastics, some of the ways by which microplastics affect the environment and attempt to shed light on how this research can continue. In addition, we review current recycling methods developing for the processing of mixed-plastic waste. These methods, including hydrothermal processing and solvent extraction, provide a unique opportunity to separate plastic waste and improve the viability of the plastics recycling industry.

Keywords

Microplastic pollution; additive toxicology; marine plastic pollution; plastic recycling; sustainability

Cite This Article

Reimonn, G., Lu, T., Gandhi, N., Chen, W. (2019). Review of Microplastic Pollution in the Environment and Emerging Recycling Solutions. Journal of Renewable Materials, 7(12), 1251–1268.

Citations




This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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