1st Edition

Microplastics in Marine Ecosystem Sources, Risks, Mitigation Technologies, and Challenges

    228 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    This book addresses pertinent issues relating to microplastic pollution including its sources and sink of the microplastics and their environmental fate. It focuses on the impacts of microplastic pollution on marine life and human health. Available conventional methods and future solutions for the prevention and control of the marine microplastic pollution, such as bacterial and marine fungus biodegradation, membrane technology, and bioengineered microbes are included along with limitations and future challenges.


    • Provides detailed insight into the marine microplastics pollution, fate, health impacts, and removal technology
    • Reviews ecological risks and environmental fate of microplastic pollution to the marine ecosystem
    • Describes control and prevention methods of the microplastics pollution
    • Covers global legislature for the mitigation of microplastic to the marine environment
    • Discusses the role of community participation for the reduction of microplastic emissions

    This book is aimed at researchers and professionals in environmental engineering, science, and chemistry, marine pollution, marine and aquatic science.

    Chapter 1 Sources and Sinks of Microplastics
    1.1 What are Microplastics?

    1.1.1 Definitions

    1.1.2 Distribution and Composition

    1.1.3 Classification of Microplastics Classification according to Size Nanoplastics Classification according to Origin
    1.2 What are the Significant Emission Pathways of Microplastics into the Environment?
    1.3 Sink of Microplastics: Where do Microplastics Accumulate?
    1.4 How are Source and Target Regions Interrelated?
    1.5 Relation between Microplastics Properties and Transport
    1.6 Is Microplastic a Persistent Pollutant?
    1.7 Global Trend
    1.8 Summary

    Chapter 2 Analytical Methods for the Identification and Assessment of Microplastics
    2.1 Sampling

    2.1.1 Selective Sampling

    2.1.2 Bulk Sampling

    2.1.3 Volume-Reduced Sampling
    2.2 Separation of Microplastics from Samples

    2.2.1 Filtration or Sieving

    2.2.2 Density Separation

    2.2.3 Other Methods
    2.3 Preprocessing

    2.3.1 Removal of Organic and Biological Matter
    2.4 Identification

    2.4.1 Visual Detection

    2.4.2 Spectroscopic Detection

    2.4.3 Thermal Detection

    2.4.4 Emerging Identification Methods
    2.5 Assuring quality in Microplastic Monitoring
    2.6 Summary

    Chapter 3 Ecological Risks and Environmental Fate of Microplastic Pollution
    3.1 Introduction
    3.2 Plastics used in the Marine Environment
    3.3 Microplastics in the Marine Ecosystem
    3.4 Ecological risks of the Microplastics to Marine Life

    3.4.1 Physical effects of Microplastics to Marine Organisms

    3.4.2 Toxicity of Ingested Microplastics

    3.4.3 Transfer of Microplastics along the Food Chain
    3.5 Nanoplastics in the Oceans
    3.6 Major Gaps in the Current Knowledge
    3.7 Perspectives for Future Studies
    3.8 Summary

    Chapter 4 Human Health Impacts of Microplastics Pollution
    4.1 Human Exposure to Microplastic Pollution
    4.2 Microplastics’ Presence in Seafood
    4.3 Nanoplastics’ Presence in Food
    4.4 Food Security
    4.5 Toxicity to Humans

    4.5.1 Physical effects of Microplastics Exposure

    4.5.2 Effects of Chemical Additives
    4.6 Microplastics as a Potential Source of Human Pathogens in the Marine Environment
    4.7 Effects of Microplastics on Human Health
    4.8 Epidemiology
    4.9 Control Measures
    4.10 Summary

    Chapter 5 Biodegradation of Microplastics by Microbes
    5.1 Microorganisms involved in Microplastic Degradation Bacterial-Mediated Microplastic Degradation

    5.1.2 Fungal-Mediated Microplastic Degradation Examples Fungi Associated with Polyethylene Microplastics Degradation
    5.2 Mechanisms involved in the Biodegradation of Microplastics

    5.2.1 Microbial Enzymes involved in the Degradation of Microplastics
    5.3 Use of Bacterial Biofilms in Microplastics Degradation
    5.4 Factors affecting the Application
    5.5 Future prospects
    5.6 Summary

    Chapter 6 Potential removal of the Microplastics in Marine Environment by Membrane Technology: Limitations and Future Solutions
    6.1 Use of Membrane Technology to Address Microplastic Pollution

    6.1.1 Reverse Osmosis

    6.1.2 Ultrafiltration

    6.1.3 Dynamic Membrane Technology

    6.1.4 Membrane Bioreactor

    6.1.5 Polymeric Membranes
    6.2 How Membrane Technology can Reduce Microplastics in Marine Environment
    6.3 Reuse and Recycling of Polymeric Membranes or Bioreactors
    6.4 Examples
    6.5 Limitations of Current Methods and Infrastructure
    6.6 Future Solutions and Scope
    6.7 Summary

    Chapter 7 Recent Bioengineering Advances in the Plastic Biodegradation and Future Challenges
    7.1 Introduction
    7.2 Bioengineering of the Microbes for the Enzymes that Degrade Natural Polymers
    7.3 Bioengineering of the Microbes for the Production of Biopolymers
    7.4 Future Research Directions
    7.5 Summary

    Chapter 8 Biopolymers as an Alternative to the Conventional Plastics
    8.1 What are Biopolymers?
    8.1.1 Why are Biopolymers needed?
    8.2 Biopolymers

    8.2.1 Bio-based vs Petrochemical-based Polymers

    8.2.2 Protein as a Biopolymer Collagen and Gelatin Silk

    8.2.3 Polysaccharides Starch Cellulose Chitin/Chitosan

    8.2.4 Polyhydroxyalkanoates
    8.3 Biodegradability and Compostability
    8.4 Microbes as the Source of Biopolymers
    8.5 Plants as the Source of Biopolymers
    8.6 Products based on Biopolymers Currently in Market
    8.7 Future Prospects and Limitations to Overcome
    8.8 Summary

    Chapter 9 Global Legislature for the mitigation of Microplastic to the Marine Environment
    9.1 International Regulatory Bodies and Regulations
    9.2 Regional Regulatory Bodies and Regulations
    9.3 Regulatory Bodies and Regulations in India
    9.4 Impact of the Consumer Voice and Behavior on the Policy Developments
    9.5 Impact of the Industrial Practices on the Polices Framework
    9.6 Need to Prioritize and change Regulations based on Innovations and Impact on Marine Environment
    9.7 Conclusions and Future Outlook
    9.8 Summary

    Chapter 10 Role of Community Participation for the Reduction of Microplastic Emissions
    10.1 Why is Reduction of Microplastic Emissions Important?
    10.2 How can Community Participation Reduce Microplastic Emissions?

    10.2.1 Reducing the Consumption of Plastic

    10.2.2 Raising Awareness in Public through Education

    10.2.3 Role of the Research

    10.2.4 Role of NGOs

    10.2.5 Role of the Media and Social Networks
    10.3 Improving Production Efficiency of Plastic Products
    10.4 Reducing Microplastics through Proper Disposal of Plastics Waste
    10.5 Recycling
    10.6 Recommendations
    10.7 The Way Ahead
    10.8 Summary

    Chapter 11 Recent Cutting-edge Solutions to Prevent Microplastics Pollution
    11.1 Prevention Technologies
    11.2 Collection Technologies
    11.3 Summary




    Shobhika Parmar is Ph.D. in Environment Science from G. B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar, India. She recently served as a Postdoctoral Researcher in Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming, China. She also received the Yunnan Provincial Government Funding in China (2019). She has more than eleven years of research experience, focused on environmental issues and problems, remediation strategies. She has about 25 publications in journals of international repute and book chapters in edited books.

    Vijay Kumar Sharma received his Ph.D. degree from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India and completed two years of Post-Doctoral Research in Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming, China. Currently, he is serving as a visiting scientist at Agricultural Research Organization - Volcani Centre, Israel. He has more than fourteen years of research experience. His research interest is in the bio-potential applications of endophytes and their mechanism. He also has a keen interest in emerging environmental issues and mitigation, and works on few collaborative projects on the same area. Dr. Sharma has published more than 50 research articles and book chapters in journals of international, and edited four books. He is also active as a reviewer and guest editor of some reputed journals. He has also actively participated in many national and international conferences, symposia and workshops related to his research field in India, China and Cyprus.

    Vir Singh is currently serving as an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, India. He has more than three decades experience in teaching, research, extension, project execution, and research supervision. He has been educated and trained in many universities and institutes in India and has also worked with many reputed organizations outside India, including International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) based in Kathmandu, Nepal, Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) in Israel, and Friedrich-Schiller University in Germany. Prof. Vir Singh has published 55 books, many monographs, lab manuals, and more than 250 research papers, book chapters, and popular articles. His textbook on Environmental Plant Physiology (Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 2020) brings to the fore a botanical strategy for a climate-smart planet. He is also a Climate Reality Leader committed to creating awareness about the ongoing climate change and its long-term implications on every walk of life. He is also actively engaged in environmental writing. His articles on vital contemporary issues are being widely published in English and Hindi dailies and e-magazines.