Current status of studies on microplastics in the world's marine environments

Bakaraki Turan N., SARI ERKAN H., ENGİN G.

Journal of Cleaner Production, vol.327, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 327
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.129394
  • Journal Name: Journal of Cleaner Production
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, INSPEC, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Microplastics, Marine environment, Detection, Management strategies
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Microplastics (MPs) are considered a new type of pollutant that invades different environmental regions. The gradual increase in consumption of plastic products has led to its abundance in the ecosystem as a result of degradation of larger plastics into smaller particles. A great scientific interest in this topic arose from a series of unknowns that fell into different research disciplines. This review aims to take a look at the latest research papers on the detection of MPs in the world's marine environments. Some of the recent studies performed in the marine environments of the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern regions are listed in this study. The highest number of MPs were found mainly in the Pacific ocean with an average concentration of 918 items/m3. However, the occurrence of MPs in the Atlantic, Arctic, Indian and Southern oceans reduced to 7.68 item/m3, 0.7 item/m3, 0.32 item/m3 and 0.022 items/m3, respectively. Average MPs concentration reported are based on the case studies listed in this paper. Additionally, this paper highlights the variety of equipment used for the detection of MPs in seawater and deep seawater. On the other hand, the mitigation of MPs occurrence was discussed noting the urgent need for global cooperation to reduce the use of plastics and increase the use of biodegradable and bioplastics. Finally, the importance of this study remains in the broad screening of MPs in the world's marine environment underlying existing research gaps and possible mitigation methods for MPs reduction.