It all started with the discovery of high concentrations of plastic litter (“plastic soup”) in the northern path of the Pacific Ocean late nineties (see e.g. Moore et. al., 2001) and recently caused a lot of commotion around the group of microplastics, which may eventually end up in the marine food chain via sewage treatment plants and riverine transport. After the endocrine receptors, medicines and nanoparticles, microplastics seem to be the next group in line water managers are confronted with. Because of the raised commotion associated with this new group of emerging compounds, water managers have lots of questions about the risks and sources of this group of compounds and the possible consequences for them in terms of emission prevention and water treatment. In this paper the latest developments regarding microplastics in the aquatic environment are described, including an inventory of the most important knowledge gaps.
Erwin Roex, Dick Vethaak, Heather Leslie & Merle de Kreuk, Stowa, 2013, 8 pages.