Call for Papers: Microplastics Pollution in the Soil Ecosystem: Impact, Challenges for Restoration and Remediation Strategies

Related GLP Member: Vishal Tripathi, Krishna Kumar Pandey, P.C. Abhilash, Sheikh Adil Edrisi

Submission deadline: Friday, 30 June 2023

Plastics were supposed to be boon for mankind during their initial decade of production, however, now they are perceived as a threat to the sustainability of the planet earth. The relatively inexpensive synthesis of plastic polymers, lighter weight, high flexibility, excellent electrical and thermal insulation properties, longevity and resistance to physical, chemical degradation and bio-inert nature made them highly desirable for industrial application and fulfilling various needs of humankind. Plastics have found application in various sectors including agriculture, automobile, building and construction, electrical and electronics, household, leisure and sport and packaging. Since 1950, around 8300 million metric tons (MMT) of plastic have been produced, generating approximately 6300 million metric tons of plastic waste >80% of these of which has reached to landfills or released into environment. The estimated value of plastic waste generated worldwide will reach to 12000 MMT by 2050. Once leaked in the environment large plastic pieces are broken down into smaller particles through fragmentation, weathering and other disintegration processes. Microplastic (plastic particles <5mm in size) are generated through disintegration of plastics disposed on land surfaces and lead to further pollution of soil and water ecosystems (including oceans). Microplastic are one of the most important emerging environmental pollutants. During the past decade marine and aquatic ecosystems have been the focus of microplastic pollution research. However, growing body of evidences suggest that microplastic pollution could be quite widespread in terrestrial ecosystem with consistent increase in microplastic concentration in soil due to its slower degradation. Microplastic pollution has been reported from various terrestrial ecosystem including agricultural fields, urban and industrialized areas and also from remote locations. According an estimate, there could be 4-23 times higher microplastic contamination on land than in the oceans and higher amount of microplastic could be stored in agricultural soils than the oceanic basins. While studies indicating the ubiquitous presence of microplastics in terrestrial environments are gradually accumulating, their potential effects on terrestrial ecosystems are not yet well known. In this backdrop we are organizing a Special Issue in Land Degradation & Development: Microplastics Pollution in the Soil Ecosystem: Impact, Challenges for Restoration and Remediation Strategies to report the current status of microplastics pollution in terrestrial ecosystems, understand the impact of microplastics on soil properties, functions, biology and biochemistry, develop innovative strategies for remediation and restoration of microplastics contaminated lands.

This Special Issue aims to publish original and innovative papers as well as reviews, meta-analyses, and opinion papers on the following topics:

  • Current status and trends of microplastic pollution in terrestrial ecosystems
  • Studying the microplastics impact on plant and soil, microbial ecology and Plant-microbe interactions
  • Microplastic as driver of land degradation, their impact on soil properties, functions, biology and biochemistry
  • Impact of microplastics on fate, behaviour, toxicity, degradation and transformation of other soil pollutants
  • Technological advancement in microplastic detection and monitoring of microplastic pollution in soil ecosystems
  • Challenges in restoration of microplastics contaminated land and innovative remediation strategies for the clean-up of microplastics contaminated soil systems
  • National, regional and global level policy interventions for halting soil pollution and land degradation by microplastics

Guest Editors:

Vishal Tripathi
GLA University
Mathura, India

Krishna Kumar Pandey
Banaras Hindu University 

Purushothaman Chirakkuzhyil Abhilash
Banaras Hindu University 

Sheikh Adil Edrisi
Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology

Becky Nancy Aloo
University of Eldoret 

Ravi Naidu
Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE)

Keywords: Microplastic Pollution; Soil Properties; Land Degradation; Microplastics; Soil Ecosystem