As production of plastics has increased over the past 50 years, plastic pollution in marine environments has become a growing problem. A systematic review of how plastic particles in seawater affect marine biota has therefore been suggested by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SWAM). Numerous studies report on the occurrence of plastic particles in the marine environment. A significant body of literature also reports on entanglement in plastic debris and ingestion of plastic particles by marine organisms. However, fewer studies have investigated the effects of these exposures, especially on a wider scale or at the population level. Moreover, the designs of the existing studies make it difficult to quantitatively synthesise the results using a systematic review approach. At present, a systematic review of this issue is not recommended.
Ashraf Shehada, Magnus Land, Mistra EviEM PS5 PILOT STUDY, 09 April 2014