Microplastics in water & reuse in crops
By Harshit Sahai, University of Almeria, Spain
I am currently working at the University of Almeria, Spain, to the study the interactions between microplastics and pesticide residues in the agricultural ecosystem. From the preliminary findings, we see that the microplastics can act as carriers or vectors for the transport and accumulation of pesticides and other contaminants in the system.
These interactions depend on the physico-chemical properties of the plastic particle, the properties of the contaminant as well as of the surrounding media in which the interactions take place.
Furthermore, the sorption of these contaminants seems to be higher in microplastic samples derived from commercial plastic films that are frequently used in agricultural processes such as mulching and are modified with various additives which impart structural and chemical stability to the plastic.
Future scope of the project involves the investigation into the effects of microplastics on crops grown in a media contaminated with these microplastics and possible implications for food safety and security.