Review of microplastics and chemical risk posed by plastic packaging on the marine environment to inform the Global Plastics Treaty

GÜNDOĞDU S., Bour A., KÖŞKER A. R., Walther B. A., Napierska D., Mihai F., ...More

Science of the Total Environment, vol.946, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 946
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.174000
  • Journal Name: Science of the Total Environment
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Analytical Abstracts, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, Greenfile, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Chemicals, Legally binding instrument, Microplastics (MPs), Plastic pollution, Single-use plastic packaging
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


Plastic overproduction and the resulting increase in consumption has made plastic pollution ubiquitous in all ecosystems. Recognizing this, the United Nations (UN) has started negotiations to establish a global treaty to end plastic pollution, especially in the marine environment. The basis of the treaty has been formulated in terms of turning off the tap, signaling the will to prevent plastic pollution at its source. Based on the distribution of plastic production by sector, the plastic packaging sector consumes the most plastic. The volume and variety of chemicals used in plastic packaging, most of which is single-use, is a major concern. Single-use plastics including packaging is one of the most dominant sources of plastic pollution. Plastic waste causes pollution in water, air and soil by releasing harmful chemicals into the environment and can also lead to exposure through contamination of food with micro- and nano-plastic particles and chemicals through packaging. Marine life and humans alike face risks from plastic uptake through bioaccumulation and biomagnification. While the contribution of plastics ingested to chemical pollution is relatively minor in comparison to other pathways of exposure, the effect of plastic waste on marine life and human consumption of seafood is beyond question. To reduce the long-term impact of plastic, it is crucial to establish a global legally binding instrument to ensure the implementation of upstream rather than downstream solutions. This will help to mitigate the impact of both chemicals and microplastics, including from packaging, on the environment.