Microplastic regulation should be more precise to incentivize both innovation and environmental safety
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
The presence of plastic in the environment has sparked discussion amongst scientists, regulators and the general public as to how industrialization and consumerism is shaping our world. Here we discuss restrictions on the intentional use of primary microplastics: small solid polymer particles in applications ranging from agriculture to cosmetics. Microplastic hazards are uncertain, and actions are not similarly prioritized by all actors. In some instances, replacement is technically simple and easily justified, but in others substitutions may come with more uncertainty, performance questions and costs. Scientific impact assessment of primary microplastics compared to their alternatives relies on a number of factors, such as microplastic harm, existence of replacement materials and the quality, cost and hazards of alternative materials. Regulations need a precise focus and must be enforceable by these measurements. Policymakers must carefully evaluate under which contexts incentives to replace certain microplastics can stimulate innovation of new, more competitive and environmentally conscious materials. Show more
Journal / seriesNature Communications
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Organisational unit09717 - Mitrano, Denise M. / Mitrano, Denise M.
168105 - The path of microplastics to the environment: fate and transport in waste water treatment systems (SNF)
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