A review on fate and ecotoxicity of biodegradable microplastics in aquatic system: Are biodegradable plastics truly safe for the environment?

Nik Nurhidayu Nik Mut, Joorim Na, Jinho Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Plastic products are extensively used worldwide, but inadequate management of plastic waste results in significant plastic pollution. Biodegradable plastic (BPs) offers an alternative to traditional plastics, however, not all BPs can fully degrade under natural conditions. Instead, they may deteriorate into biodegradable microplastic (BMPs) at a faster rate than conventional plastic, thereby posing an additional hazard to aquatic environments. This study provides a comprehensive overview of the fate of BPs in aquatic systems and their eco-toxicological effects on aquatic organisms such as algae, invertebrates, and fish. The findings highlight that BMPs have comparable or heightened effects compared to conventional microplastics (MPs) which physiochemical characteristic of the polymer itself or by the chemical leached from the polymeric matrix can affect aquatic organisms. While BPs is not a flawless solution to address plastic pollution, future research should prioritize investigating their production, environmental behavior, ecological impact, and whether BMPs inflict greater harm than conventional MPs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123399
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume344
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Acute toxicity
  • Aquatic organisms
  • Biodegradable microplastic
  • Biofilm
  • Daphnia
  • Ecotoxicity
  • UV aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A review on fate and ecotoxicity of biodegradable microplastics in aquatic system: Are biodegradable plastics truly safe for the environment?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this