IMPASSE – Impacts of MicroPlastics on AgrosystemS and Stream Environments

While it is widely known that microplastics (MPs) in the ocean are a serious environmental problem, the threat posed by MPs in agricultural lands is almost entirely unknown. A large fraction of MPs produced in industrialized countries is intercepted by sewers. In treatment plants most of MPs are retained in the sludge. A sizeable fraction of this sewage sludge is spread in many countries on agricultural lands. We estimate the MP input to agricultural lands in Europe to be between 50000 and 175000 tonnes/year. More

Main outputs:

  • Dolar, A., Selonen, S., van Gestel, C.A.M., Perc, V., Drobne, D., Jemec Kokalj, A. 2021. Microplastics, chlorpyrifos and their mixtures modulate immune processes in the terrestrial crustacean Porcellio scaber. Science of the Total Environment 772, 144900.

  • Crossman, J., Hurley, R.R*., Futter, M., and Nizzetto, L. 2020. Transfer and transport of microplastics from biosolids to agricultural soils and the wider environment. Science of the Total Environment 724: 138334.

  • Selonen, S., Dolar, A., Jemec Kokalj, A., Skalar, T., Parramon Dolcet, L., Hurley, R., van Gestel, C.A.M. 2020. Exploring the impacts of plastics in soil – The effects of polyester textile fibers on soil invertebrates. Science of the Total Environment 700:134451.

  • Galafassi, S., Nizzetto, L., Volta, P., Plastic sources: A survey across scientific and grey literature for their inventory and relative contribution to microplastics pollution in natural environments, with an emphasis on surface water, 2019, Science of the Total Environment 693, 133499.

  • Schell, T., Rico, A., Vighi, M., Occurrence, fate and fluxes of plastics and microplastics in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. 2019 Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

  • De Sá, LC, M Oliveira, F Ribeiro, TL Rocha, MN Futter, 2018. Studies of the effects of microplastics on aquatic organisms: what do we know and where should we focus our efforts in the future?. Science of the total environment, 645, pp.1029-1039.

  • Hurley, R. R. Lusher A. L, Olsen, M., Nizzetto, L. Validation of a Method for Extracting Microplastics from Complex, Organic-Rich, Environmental Matrices, 2018, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (13), pp 7409–7417

  • Hurley, R.R, Nizzetto, L. Fate and occurrence of micro (nano) plastics in soils: Knowledge gaps and possible risks, 2018, Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health, Pp 6-11

  • Van Gestel, C.A.M & Selonen, S. 2018. Ecotoxicological effects of microplastics in soil: New research themes should not ignore basic rules and theories. Comments on the paper by Zhu et al. (2018) “Exposure of soil collembolans to microplastics perturbs their gut microbiota and alters their isotopic composition”. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 116:302-310.

  • Baho, D, M Bundschuh, MN Futter. Microplastics in terrestrial ecosystems: moving beyond the state of the art to minimize the risk of ecological surprise, 2021, Global Change Biology

  • Schell, T., Hurley, R., Buenaventura, N., Ablanque, P. V. M., Nizzetto, L., Rico, A., Vighi, M., Fate of microplastics in agricultural soils amended with sewage sludge: The importance of surface water runoff as an environmental pathway, 2022, Environmental Science & Technology

  • Schell, T., Hurley, R., Nizzetto, L., Rico, A., Vighi, M., Spatio-temporal distribution of microplastics in a Mediterranean watershed: the importance of wastewater as an environmental pathway, 2021, Journal of Hazardous Materials 420: 126481.

  • Selonen, S., Dolar, A., Jemec Kokalj, A., Sackey, L.N.A., Skalar, T., Cruz Fernandes, V., Rede, D., Delerue-Matos, C., Hurley, R., Nizzetto, L., Van Gestel, C.A.M. Exploring the impacts of microplastics and associated chemicals in the terrestrial environment – exposure of soil invertebrates to tire particles, 2021, Environmental Research 201: 111495.

  • Crossman, J., and Weisener, C (eds). 2020. Contaminants of the Great Lakes Handbook of Environmental Chemistry.

Data and Resources

This project has no data

Additional Info

Field Value
Project coordinator Luca Nizzetto
Last Updated April 25, 2022, 12:45 (UTC)
Created November 21, 2018, 10:00 (UTC)
Project partners norwegian-institute-for-water-research-niva;swedish-university-of-agricultural-sciences;trent-university;windsor-university;vrije-university-amsterdam;imdea-water;
Project website
Access level info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
Project identifier grantAgreement/EC/
Start date unknown
End date unknown