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MIcro- and NAno-Plastics in AGRIricultural Soils: sources, environmental fate and impacts on ecosystem services and overall sustainability


Plastic use in agriculture has tremendously increased in the past decades resulting in soil pollution with plastic residues forming besides macroplastics micro (MP) and nanoplastics (NP). MINAGRIS aims to contribute to healthy soils in Europe by providing a deeper understanding and tools to assess the impact of MP and NP in agricultural soil health. To create an overview on the actual situation across Europe, MINAGRIS will assess the use of different plastic polymers in agricultural systems in 11 case study across Europe and identify the resulting types and concentrations of MPs and NPs. Concentrations of other stressors in soils such as pesticides and veterinary drugs will be additionally assessed. MINAGRIS will provide validated analytical tools that allow the quantification and identification of MPs and NPs in soils. Based on the results of the case study sites, controlled experiments will be conducted to analyse the impact of MPs and NPs on physico-chemical soil properties, soil biodiversity, plant productivity, and Ecosystem Services, as well as their potential transfer to other parts of the environment and plants. Furthermore, synergistic effects with other stressors are assessed. Quantification of the impacts of MNP on soil biodiversity and agricultural productivity, their transport and degradation in the environment, their impacts on socio-economic components, and synergies between all of them will make it possible to identify, in a multifactorial vision, the benefits and risks associated with the use of plastics in agriculture. Based on the results, MINAGRIS will quantify the economic, environmental, and social consequences of unsustainable soil management at the field and farm level in different biogeographical regions and, through a Multi-Actor Approach (MAA), develop a practical toolbox for and with farmers for the rapid assessment of soil exposure, at the same time raising relevant stakeholders’ and end-users’ awareness of the issue.

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