Plastic in agricultural soils – A global risk for groundwater systems and drinking water supplies? – A review

The paper aims to identify the risk of large plastic inventory in agricultural soils for groundwater systems and drinking water supplies. This review synthesizes the current knowledge of the plastic mobility and plastic-pesticide interactions in agricultural soil and also identifies the way for future research. The research also has seen consistent evidence for vertical migration of plastic in agricultural soils towards aquifer systems, especially for sub-micrometer sized plastic particles, analogously to the well-known migration of natural particles in the sub-micrometer range (colloids). The reviewed investigations also showed that plastic can change the sorption behaviour of pesticides in agricultural soils and also enhances their transport towards the underlying groundwater systems. This paper emphasizes the need for improved regulatory measures that needs to be put in place for the use of plastics in farming so as to protect the aquifers and drinking water supplies from plastic and pesticide contamination to avoid potential health hazard.

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