Title: MICROPLASTICS: Focus on Food and Health
Authors: MUNOZ-PINEIRO MARIA AMALIA
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC110629
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Other Identifiers: EUR N/A
OP N/A
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC110629
Type: Public information documents
Abstract: Every year worldwide, more than 300 million tons of plastics are produced, half of which is designed for single use, and each year, at least 8 million tons end up in our oceans. These plastics break down with the intervention of microbes into carbon dioxide, methane and water, but this process is temperature dependent and readily occurs in the marine environment. Furthermore, the polymers most commonly used (e.g. PE, PP, PVC) are not readily biodegradable; they are subjected to weathering and fragmenting into micro- and nano-plastics and remain in the environment for hundreds of years. These small particles of plastic can be ingested by zooplankton, invertebrates and small fish, entering this way in the food-chain.
JRC Directorate:Health, Consumers and Reference Materials

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