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Solutions and Integrated Strategies for the Control and Mitigation of Plastic and Microplastic Pollution

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Abstract: “While solutions to plastic pollution have focused on clean-up strategies, these attempts are unable to compete with increasing quantities of plastic entering the environment. Reducing inputs of plastic to the environment must be prioritized through a global multidisciplinary approach. Mismanaged waste is a major land-based source of plastic pollution that can be reduced through improvements in the life-cycle of plastics, especially in production, consumption, and disposal, through an Integrated Waste Management System.

In this review paper, scientists discuss current practices to improve life cycle and waste management of plastics that can be implemented to reduce health and environmental impacts of plastics and reduce plastics pollution. Ten recommendations for stakeholders to reduce plastic pollution include (1) regulation of production and consumption; (2) eco-design; (3) increasing the demand for recycled plastics; (4) reducing the use of plastics; (5) use of renewable energy for recycling; (6) extended producer responsibility over waste; (7) improvements in waste collection systems; (8) prioritization of recycling; (9) use of bio-based and biodegradable plastics; and (10) improvement in recyclability of e-waste.”

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