Past, present, and possible future policies on plastic use in the United States, particularly microplastics and nanoplastics: A review

Thumbnail Image
Date
2022
Authors
Sorensen, Rachel M.
Major Professor
Advisor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
© 2022 The Authors
Authors
Person
Kanwar, Rameshwar
Distinguished Professor
Person
Jovanovic, Boris
Adjunct Associate Professor
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit
Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

The Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology seeks to teach the studies of ecology (organisms and their environment), evolutionary theory (the origin and interrelationships of organisms), and organismal biology (the structure, function, and biodiversity of organisms). In doing this, it offers several majors which are codirected with other departments, including biology, genetics, and environmental sciences.

History
The Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology was founded in 2003 as a merger of the Department of Botany, the Department of Microbiology, and the Department of Zoology and Genetics.

Dates of Existence
2003–present

Related Units

Organizational Unit
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

History
In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

Dates of Existence
1905–present

Historical Names

  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

Related Units

Journal Issue
Is Version Of
Versions
Series
Abstract
As the levels of plastic use in global society have increased, it has become crucial to regulate plastics of all sizes including both microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs). Here, the published literature on the current laws passed by the US Congress and regulations developed by various federal agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that could be used to regulate MPs and NPs have been reviewed and analyzed. Statutes such as the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Clean Air Act can all be used to address plastic pollution. These statutes have not been invoked for MP and NP waste in water or air. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act provides guidance on how the FDA should evaluate plastics use in food, food packaging, cosmetics, drug packaging, and medical devices. The FDA has recommended that acceptable levels of ingestible contaminant from recycled plastic are less than 1.5 µg/person/day, which is 476 000 times less than the possible ingested daily dose. Plastic regulation is present at the state level. States have banned plastic bags, and several cities have banned plastic straws. California is the only state beginning to focus on monitoring MPs in drinking water. The future of MP regulation in the USA should use TSCA to test the safety of plastics. The other statutes need to include MPs in their definitions. For the FDA, MPs should be redefined as contaminants—allowing tolerances to be set for MPs in food and beverages. Through minor changes in how MPs are classified, it is possible to begin to use the current statutes to understand and begin to minimize the possible effects of MPs on human health and the environment.
Comments
This article is published as Sorensen, Rachel M., Rameshwar S. Kanwar, and Boris Jovanović. "Past, Present, and Possible Future Policies on Plastic Use in the USA, Particularly Microplastics and Nanoplastics: A Review." Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (2022). doi:10.1002/ieam.4678. Posted with permission.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Description
Keywords
Citation
DOI
Copyright
Collections