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      Impact of plastic mulching as a major source of microplastics in agroecosystems.

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          Abstract

          The contamination of agroecosystems by microplastics (MPs) has raised great concerns recently. Plastic mulching has contributed a lot in the building of MP pollution in farmlands. This technique has been in use for decades worldwide because of its immense advantages, preferably in drier and colder regions. The physical extraction of plastic mulches at the end of the growing season is very laborious and ineffective, and thus small pieces of mulches are left in the field which later convert into MP particles after aging, weathering, or on exposure to solar radiation. MPs not only influence physical, chemical, or biological properties of soils but also reduce crop productivity which could be a threat to our food security. They also interact with and accumulate other environmental contaminants such as microbial pathogens, heavy metals, and persistent organic pollutants on their surfaces which increase their risk of toxicity in the environment. MPs also transfer from one trophic level to the other in the food chain and ultimately may impact human health. Because of the ineffectiveness of the recovery of plastic film fragments from fields, researchers are now mainly focusing on alternative solutions to conventional plastic mulch films such as the use of biodegradable mulches. In this review, we have discussed the issue of plastic mulch films in agroecosystems and tried to link already existing knowledge to the current limitations in research on this topic from cropland soils and future prospects have been identified and proposed.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Hazard Mater
          Journal of hazardous materials
          Elsevier BV
          1873-3336
          0304-3894
          Mar 05 2023
          : 445
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Botany, Government College Women University, Sialkot, Pakistan. Electronic address: noreenbasra@gmail.com.
          [2 ] State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agroecosystems, College of Ecology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, Gansu, PR China.
          [3 ] Department of Botany, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
          [4 ] Department of Botany, Government College Women University, Sialkot, Pakistan.
          Article
          S0304-3894(22)02249-X
          10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.130455
          36463747
          f7884eaa-3b0d-4abb-8c6d-65f6a51bc6f3
          History

          Farmland pollution,Plastic mulch,MP pollution,Biodegradable mulch

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