Agricultural plastics, especially plastic films, are not easy to recycle because of high contamination levels (up to 40-50% by weight contamination by pesticides, fertilizers, soil and debris, moist vegetation, silage juice water, and UV stabilizers) and collection difficulties (Kasirajan and Ngouajio 2012). Therefore, they are often buried or abandoned in fields and watercourses (Vox et al. 2016) or burned (Scarascia-Mugnozza et al. 2012; Briassoulis 2013).
These disposal practices lead to soil degradation and can result in contamination of soils and leakage of microplastics into the marine environment (e.g. Li et al. 2018; SAPEA 2019;Hurley et al. 2020) as a result of precipitation run-off and tidal washing (e.g. Ng et al. 2018).
From collection: Drowning in Plastics: Marine Litter and Plastic Waste Vital Graphics