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Sci Total Environ. 2018 Jul 15;630:1641-1653. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.300. Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Microplastic pollution in China's inland water systems: A review of findings, methods, characteristics, effects, and management.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China; State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China.
3
Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Light Industry, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 51006, China.
4
School of Marine Sciences, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China.
5
State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China.
6
State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China; School of Marine Sciences, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China. Electronic address: chenxi.wu@ihb.ac.cn.
7
State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Abstract

The pollution of marine environments and inland waters by plastic debris has raised increasing concerns worldwide in recent years. China is the world's largest developing country and the largest plastic producer. In this review, we gather available information on microplastic pollution in China's inland water systems. The results show that microplastics are ubiquitous in the investigated inland water systems, and high microplastic abundances were observed in developed areas. Although similar sampling and analytical methods were used for microplastic research in inland water and marine systems, methods of investigation should be standardized in the future. The characteristics of the detected microplastics suggest secondary sources as their major sources. The biological and ecological effects of microplastics have been demonstrated, but their risks are difficult to determine at this stage due to the discrepancy between the field-collected microplastics and microplastics used in ecotoxicological studies. Although many laws and regulations have already been established to manage and control plastic waste in China, the implementation of these laws and regulations has been ineffective and sometimes difficult. Several research priorities are identified, and we suggest that the Chinese government should be more proactive in tackling plastic pollution problems to protect the environment and fulfill international responsibilities.

KEYWORDS:

China; Inland water; Management; Microplastics; Sources

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