The science of microplastic and plastic pollution is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary
field and touches on a wide array of academic and scientific disciplines, including
polymer and material sciences, environmental toxicology and chemistry,
biogeochemistry, economics, sociology, public health, decision sciences, physics,
global environmental change, and mathematics. At times while editing this book, I
was struck by the speed and volume of new microplastic scientific publications and
I often felt like I was dealing with an informational “moving target.” This is a true
testament to the intense level of attention that this widespread environmental pollution
issue has garnered in recent years. With this is mind, I focused this volume on
existing knowledge gaps while also presenting and utilizing a holistic perspective to
evaluate microplastic pollution across a suite of different ecosystem types. Only
recently have scientists really begun to establish and employ a more holistic perspective
to the study of microplastics in the environment, including investigations
that have furthered the integration of multitiered approaches, especially by concomitantly
using environmental chemistry, biology, and human health sciences.
The target audience for this book is graduate and undergraduate students, teachers,
natural resource managers, and technical scientists looking to learn about or
further develop their background in the science of microplastics and plastic pollution.
The book focuses on integrating the diverse sciences involved in the process of
microplastic and plastic cycling in the environment from the atmosphere, through
terrestrial and aquatic food webs, and into human populations to help the reader
develop a more integrated perspective on this important environmental pollution

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