Waste Management & Research - October 2018 Editor's Choice

We’re delighted to share the Editor’s Choice papers from the latest issue of Waste Management & Research (WM&R), which is also the ISWA Congress Special Issue.

11 Oct 2018 -

This year’s ISWA Congress Special Issue contains eleven excellent top quality manuscripts, which are introduced by an editorial on plastics. The editorial, titled ‘Marine Debris, Plastics, Microplastics and Nano plastics: What next?’, captures the latest issues and data on plastics  and discusses the relevance of microplastics; which is also the topic covered by the two Review articles that have been selected as the Editor’s Choice papers for this issue.


The first Editor’s Choice paper: ‘Worldwide Distribution and Abundance of Microplastic: How dire is the situation?’, deals with the widespread occurrence of microplastics and how this form of pollution has invaded the environment on a worldwide scale. This review investigates the global abundance and distribution of microplastics in marine and freshwater ecosystems and addresses the various issues and challenges faced. Findings reveal that the accumulation of microplastics varies geographically, dependent on location, hydrodynamic conditions, environmental pressure, and time. From this review, it is crucial that proper regulations are proposed and implemented in order to reduce the occurrence of microplastics in the aquatic environment. Without appropriate law and regulations, microplastic pollution will continue to threaten human livelihood.


The second Editor’s Choice paper is from China, titled ‘A Critical Review on the Sources and Instruments of Marine Microplastics and Prospects on the Relevant Management in China’. It looks at how the world’s oceans are suffering a constant and unprecedented accumulation of emerging plastic contaminants known as microplastics and the impact this has on marine species. Due to their small size, marine species risk getting ingested and entangled in microplastics, causing suffocation, starvation, physical trauma or damage from chemicals, which poses vast and growing threats to biodiversity and the food web. Microplastics exhibit a widespread distribution in various habitats from the land to the oceans, and even reach the most remote areas, such as the deep sea and polar regions. This review article focuses on the various sources attributed to marine microplastics, the latest international, regional and national countermeasures to combat marine litter, as well as the status quo of microplastics pollution, legislation and regulations in China. Furthermore, it provides solutions on key research gaps, governance and management for future environmental control and policymaking in China.


The editorial and the two Editor’s Choice papers clearly exemplify the seriousness of microplastics, particularly regarding marine debris and its consequences to marine fauna. It is aptly discussed in this issue of WM&R in order to showcase the importance of this area of research globally.


University of Malaya
Editor-in-Chief, WMR and ISWA Congress 2018 Special issue Editor

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