A comprehensive analysis of plastics and microplastic legislation worldwide

Chung Sum Lam, Soundaram Ramanathan, Maddison Carbery, Kelsey Gray, Kanth Swaroop Vanka, Cristelle Maurin, Richard Bush, Thavamani Palanisami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


Aquatic or land-based plastic pollution has raised serious concerns for ecosystems, and especially human and animal health worldwide. A variety of legislative instruments were developed to control, reduce, and manage the usage of plastics in day-to-day life to minimize the adverse outcomes brought by sending these plastic to landfill. Existing legislation heavily embraces levies, bans, and voluntary efforts through “reduce and reuse campaigns.” Thus, the present review highlights the pros and cons of the existing legislation and its implementation. It also assesses the need for the improvement of plastic legislation to better consider environmental and human health impacts. The paper proposes new efficient management strategies to aid in the development of plastic legislation which prevents increase of plastic pollution worldwide, the potential challenges that would arise from its implementation, and the mechanisms for overcoming these challenges. The paper proposes a conventional management strategy based on the current plastic management and legislation. It aims to improve the feasibility and effectiveness of the implementation of future plastic policies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number345
Number of pages19
JournalWater, Air, & Soil Pollution
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Legislation
  • Microplastic
  • Plastic
  • Plastic management
  • Policy

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