Evaluation of the available strategies to control the emission of microplastics into the aquatic environment

Sadegh Rostami, Mohammad Reza Talaie, Amirreza Talaiekhozani, Mika Sillanpää

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


No effective strategy has been found so far to control the emission of microplastics. The purpose of this article is to review the available control strategies, as well as barriers to developing them. Based on the estimations in the available literature, decomposition of larger plastics, clothes washing and tire abrasion play an essential part in the total emission rate of microplastics into the ocean. Nonetheless, there is no corresponding information regarding the soil, and more information is needed to prioritize the emission sources of microplastics more preciously. Generally, there have been two approaches for the management of the microplastic issues, including the substitution of non-plastic materials for plastic ones in products such as personal care products, and microplastic removal from wastewater. The former is in its infancy and has commenced only in a few developed countries. Existing wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) as the other approach can transfer a significant portion of the microplastics into the sludge. The result is that the final destination of these microplastics can be the soil. Since there is little information on how serious the impact of microplastics is on the soil as compared with water, the currently used WWTPs cannot be considered as a final remedy. Furthermore, there has been not been any specifically designed techniques to remove microplastics from wastewater efficiently and economically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18908-18917
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Control strategy
  • Marine pollution
  • Microplastic removal
  • Microplastics
  • Pollution management
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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