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Microplastics Sources, Pathways and Fate Conceptual Diagram

December 2023 (approx.)

Detailed Description

Due to multiple reasons including the widespread use of microplastics, their environmental persistence, the global connectedness of aquatic environments, and the long-range transport of microplastics, these particles have been documented in every environmental compartment (e.g., air, water, soils). While some of the sources and pathways allowing for the movement of microplastics in the environment may be easily identified and addressed, identifying microplastic sources and pathways in an entire ecosystem or watershed is a significant challenge for researchers and resource managers. While this diagram explores and depicts many of the known sources of microplastics, a better understanding of the relative contributions and characteristics of different microplastic sources and pathways, and the factors affecting the fate of microplastic particles in the environment, can inform policy and mitigation strategies.



Public Domain.