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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Stakeholders' Perspectives on Microplastics in Sludge Applied to Agricultural Land

Zilinskaite, Emilija; Futter, Martyn; Collentine, Dennis;

Abstract

Microplastic (MPs) inputs to agricultural lands from wastewater and sewage sludge reuse in Europe have been estimated to be between 65,000 and 230,000 tons/year making the farm environment one of the major receptors and, possibly, environmental reservoirs of MPs. In Sweden there have been ongoing discussions since 1994 about environmental and health effects of sewage sludge application to agricultural lands. This debate on sludge use focused initially on metals, then moved on to pharmaceutical residues and currently has turned to MPs. In spite of the limited scientific information about environmental impacts of MPs in soils, governmental approval in Sweden to allow increased spreading of sludge on productive agricultural lands is moving forward. To study individual perceptions of the potential risks, interviews were conducted in 2020 with Swedish stakeholders who in some way work with the issue of sludge management. The results of these interviews provide an indication of not only how environmental risk information is interpreted by representatives from different sectors but also the degree to which perceived risks may shape environmental policy.

Keywords

agricultural soil; circular economy; MPs; sewage sludge; stakeholder interviews; analysis

Published in

Frontiers in sustainable food systems

2022, volume: 6, article number: 830637
Publisher: FRONTIERS MEDIA SA

Authors' information

Zilinskaite, Emilija
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences
Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2022.830637

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/116453