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Embrace complexity to understand microplastic pollution

Environmental cycling of microplastics and nanoplastics is complex; fully understanding these pollutants is hindered by inconsistent methodologies and experimentation within a narrow scope. Consistent methods are needed to advance plastic research and policy within the context of global environmental change.

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Fig. 1: Plastic pollution and GEC.


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This manuscript was developed as part of the ‘Plastics and Sustainability Nature Forum’. MSB acknowledges the Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway, for funding received under the Ocean Health Strategic Institute program (project no. 15494). DMM acknowledges the Swiss National Science Foundation, grant numbers PZ00P2_168105 and PCEFP2_186856. MCR acknowledges funding from an ERC Advanced Grant, and from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for the projects μPlastic and BIBS, and EU funding for the projects PAPILLONS and MINAGRIS. CSKL acknowledges funding from the Hong Kong Research Grant Council via Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) account C1105-20G. YSO was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant (no. 2021R1A2C2011734) and the OJEong Resilience Institute (OJERI) Research Grant from the OJERI, Korea University, Republic of Korea. We thank Dr. Anika Lehmann for designing Fig. 1.

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Correspondence to Michael S. Bank.

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Bank, M.S., Mitrano, D.M., Rillig, M.C. et al. Embrace complexity to understand microplastic pollution. Nat Rev Earth Environ 3, 736–737 (2022).

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