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Published in Scientific Papers. Series B, Horticulture, Vol. LXIII, Issue 1
Written by Violeta Alexandra ION, Liliana BĂDULESCU, Carmen Gabriela CONSTANTIN, Vlad POPA, Mihaela ZUGRAVU

Plastics are now found in all-natural environments, including soil, in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. Plastic products have brought benefits to society in terms of economic activity and quality of life. Unfortunately, it has also become one of the major toxic pollutants of present time. Being composed of toxic chemicals and most importantly nonbiodegradable substances, plastic pollutes soil, water and air. Due to various degradation processes plastic is broken down to particles smaller than 5 mm, also known as microplastics. Microplastics are emerging contaminants, composed of different type of plastic (polyethylene - PE, polypropylene - PP, polyethylene terephthalate - PET, polystyrene - PS, polyvinyl chloride - PVC, polyurethane – PE etc.) that enter in natural ecosystems from a variety of sources, including, but not limited to cosmetics, clothing, and industrial processes. The effects of microplastics in terrestrial systems remain largely unexplored. This paper aims to review the occurrence and characteristics of microplastic pollution in soil and especially agroecosystems.

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