Primary microplastics in the marine environment: scale of the issue, sources, pathways and current policy

This paper analyses research on microplastic pollution, specifically focussingon intentionally added microplastics. Intentionally added microplastics are found in industrial and domestic cleaning products, medicines, synthetic clothing, personal care and cosmetic products (PCCPs), construction materials and car tyres. Studies have reported that over 50,000 microplastic particles can be found in one gram of PCCPs product and as many as 17,700,000 fibres can be released during single 5kg washing. This paper reviews the policies that address microplastic pollution in the European Union (EU), the United States (USA) and Australia. The EU is a leader in the development of plastic pollution policies, and in particular, intentionally added microplastics and provides a useful framework for understanding how this issue can be addressed by a federation such as Australia.

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