Plastic pollution is an emerging problem and is a consequence of the post-consumer plastic waste accumulation in the environment coupled to mismanaged waste programmes. Countries are counteracting the continuous growth of plastic litter with different strategies: introducing bans and limits on both plastic items and materials, promoting plastic recycling and recovery strategies and encouraging voluntary clean up actions, as well as raising public awareness. However, the toxicity of plastics to the environment and organisms is not only related to their polymer chains, but also to the fact that plastic materials contain hazardous additives and can adsorb environmental pollutants (i.e. heavy metals and persistent organic contaminants, respectively). The plastic/additives/pollutants combination may be ingested by marine organisms and then enter in the food chain. Therefore, legislation for additives and contaminants is crucial both to reduce environmental pollution and their toxic effects on organisms, which of course includes humans. In this review, the current policies on plastics and related contaminants are described focusing on current laws. Moreover, recommendations for seafood consumption are suggested, since each fish or mollusc eaten may potentially result in plastic particles, additives or contaminants ingestion.

Legislation to limit the environmental plastic and microplastic pollution and their influence on human exposure

Conti I.
Primo
;
Simioni C.
Secondo
;
Varano G.;Brenna C.;Costanzi E.;Neri L. M.
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Plastic pollution is an emerging problem and is a consequence of the post-consumer plastic waste accumulation in the environment coupled to mismanaged waste programmes. Countries are counteracting the continuous growth of plastic litter with different strategies: introducing bans and limits on both plastic items and materials, promoting plastic recycling and recovery strategies and encouraging voluntary clean up actions, as well as raising public awareness. However, the toxicity of plastics to the environment and organisms is not only related to their polymer chains, but also to the fact that plastic materials contain hazardous additives and can adsorb environmental pollutants (i.e. heavy metals and persistent organic contaminants, respectively). The plastic/additives/pollutants combination may be ingested by marine organisms and then enter in the food chain. Therefore, legislation for additives and contaminants is crucial both to reduce environmental pollution and their toxic effects on organisms, which of course includes humans. In this review, the current policies on plastics and related contaminants are described focusing on current laws. Moreover, recommendations for seafood consumption are suggested, since each fish or mollusc eaten may potentially result in plastic particles, additives or contaminants ingestion.
2021
Conti, I.; Simioni, C.; Varano, G.; Brenna, C.; Costanzi, E.; Neri, L. M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2467151
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