Comprehensive investigation on microplastics from source to sink

Vahid Razaviarani*, Ayesha Saudagar, Sethni Gallage, Soumya Shrinath, Golnaz Arab

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


This paper provides a comprehensive review on microplastic from source to sink and reviews the current state of knowledge of the topic by focusing on the articles published within the last five years on identification, quantification, analyses, and effects of microplastics on soil and aqueous environments. Microplastics are materials formed either by the degradation of the plastic into smaller micro sized particles or obtained directly in daily products such as cosmetics, toothpastes, domestic cleaning products, etc. Hence, the origin of microplastics is either a primary or secondary microplastic source. The lack of information and research conducted on microplastics in soil compared to water influenced many disparities. These include variations in defining microplastics to lack of conclusive methodologies in analysis of microplastics in soil which therefore lead to gaps in identification of plastic source and comprehension of plastic pollution in soil. The effect of microplastics on different aquatic vertebrates, mammals, and humans is studied and, in most cases, various negative effects were observed in the organism’s physiology. In addition to innovative control methods, there is a growing focus on exploring bioplastics as a potential substitute for traditional plastics. Numerous studies suggest that the environmental impact is more manageable with the production and use of bioplastics. Nonetheless, additional research is needed to confirm the viability of bioplastics as a potential solution. Graphical abstract: (Figure presented.)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1755-1782
Number of pages28
JournalClean Technologies and Environmental Policy
Issue number6
Early online date6 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Analytical methodology
  • Bioplastics
  • Degradation
  • Microplastics
  • Soil and marine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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