Science of the Total Environment
This review organizes key information about microplastic pollution through a DPSIR (driving forces, pressures, states, impacts and responses) analysis, namely the current knowledge on the sources of microplastics in the environment, the abundance, mobility and fate of microplastics distributed across the different environmental compartments, as well as their socio-economic and environmental impacts. The available or developing upstream and downstream responses to the microplastic pollution are also reviewed as part of the DPSIR analysis. These include the regulatory and policy instruments, environmental education campaigns, product design, the development of biodegradable plastics, environmental cleanups, waste management, drinking water and wastewater treatment plants, and other treatment technologies and processes. Whenever possible, the current trends and discerning gaps in the research conducted so far by the scientific community are identified, giving some clues to what is going to be the future research on this topic and into new lines of research.