Since the beginning of the 2010s, the number of investigations on microplastics in freshwater increased dramatically. However, almost no study aims at investigating the various sources and fate of microplastics in a catchment. This chapter aims at analyzing the various sources and fate of microplastics for an urban catchment and its hydrosystem (sewage, runoff, etc.). It presents the results obtained during a 3-year study of the Paris Megacity. Such a study required the development of appropriate sampling strategies for each compartment. It was highlighted that fibers are highly concentrated in the studied area, and therefore a focus in this category of microplastics was carried out. The atmospheric fallout exhibited important levels of fibers. However, at the scale of the Parisian agglomeration, wastewater treatment plant disposals and combined sewer overflows represent the major sources (number of fibers introduced per year) among the studied ones.
Fibers, Freshwater, Microplastics, Plastic pollution, Urban areas, Urban impact
Dris, R., Gasperi, J., Tassin, B., 2018c. Sources and fate of microplastics in urban areas: A focus on Paris megacity. In: Wagner M., Lambert S. (eds.). Freshwater Microplastics. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, vol 58. Springer, Cham.
Risk perception has a significant impact on how society reacts to a given risk. There have been cases where a mismatch between the actual risk and the perception of it has led to poor decisions on societal initiatives, such as inappropriate regulatory measures. It is therefore important that the perception of risk is based on an informed foundation acknowledging the biases and drivers that inevitably go with risk perception. Plastic pollution differs in regard to other classical risks, such as those posed by chemicals or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), since the pollution is more visible and already has a significant magnitude. At the same time, everyone is familiar with using plastic, and our daily lives are highly dependent on the use of plastic. This offers some potential to strengthen the societal risk perception and subsequently implement effective measures to address the pollution.
In this chapter, we define eight risk perception drivers (voluntariness, control, knowledge, timing, severity, benefit, novelty, and tangibility) and relate these drivers to plastic pollution. We discuss the process in which plastic pollution has been recognized as an important environmental problem by scientists, the public, and policy makers and elaborate on how the eight risk drivers have influenced this process. Plastic pollution has several of the characteristics that can enhance people’s perception of the risk as being important and which has generated great awareness of the problem. The chapter finally discusses how risk perception can be improved by greater stakeholder involvement and utilization of citizen science and thereby improve the foundation for timely and efficient societal measures.
Citizen science, Plastic pollution, Public participation, Risk perception, Stakeholder involvement
Syberg K., Hansen S.F., Christensen T.B., Khan F.R., 2018. Risk Perception of Plastic Pollution: Importance of Stakeholder Involvement and Citizen Science. In: Wagner M., Lambert S. (eds.) Freshwater Microplastics. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, vol 58. Springer, Cham