This thematic series has published in Chemical and Biological Technologies in Agriculture.
Guest Edited by: Edoardo Puglisi1 and Esperanza Huerta Lwanga2
1 Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza, Italy
2 Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands & El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Campeche, Mexico
Aims and Scope: The contamination of terrestrial environments by plastic materials have been mostly overlooked in the past years, with most studies being focused on contamination and impacts on aquatic environments. Scientific evidence clearly shows that plastics are now emerging widespread contaminants in agricultural soils, where they are often present in the form of micro- and nanoplastics, due to disaggregation and weathering processes. The issue is related not only to petroleum-based plastics, but also to biodegradable bioplastics, that can reach soils if the plastics are not properly disposed or treated.
The fate and impact of these contaminants is still partly unknown, with first effects on crops physiology, soil physico-chemical properties, diversity and activity of soil microorganisms, and mesofauna being reported, as well as interactions with other chemical pollutants such as pesticides and heavy metals.
This series aims to collate research on various aspects of plastics in agriculture and welcomes advanced experimental studies and reviews related, but not limited to:
- the fate and processes of plastics and bioplastics from wastes to soil, with a focus on anaerobic digestion and composting of the plastic contaminated food waste
- advanced analytical methods for the determination of micro- and nanoplastics in soils and plants
- impacts on the diversity and activity of soil organisms
- transport processes in soils mediated by soil fauna
- farm to fork transports of plastics from soils to food
- comparison between fate and impacts of plastics and bioplastics
Keywords: microplastics, nanoplastics, composting, polyethylene, polypropylene, polylactic acid, starch-based bioplastics, earthworms, soil microbial diversity, crop yields, food chains.