Species sensitivity distribution (SSD) for the generic EF. Each dot represents an EC50,i for a single species. SSDs for bisphenol A and dibutyl phthalate can be found in Online Resource (Fig. S1). Underlying data used to generate the SSDs can be found in Online Resource (Table S3)

Species sensitivity distribution (SSD) for the generic EF. Each dot represents an EC50,i for a single species. SSDs for bisphenol A and dibutyl phthalate can be found in Online Resource (Fig. S1). Underlying data used to generate the SSDs can be found in Online Resource (Table S3)

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Purpose Plastic pervades now almost every aspect of our daily lives, but this prosperity has led to an increasing amount of plastic debris, which is now widespread in the oceans and represents a serious threat to biota. However, there is a general lack of consideration regarding marine plastic impacts in life cycle assessment (LCA). This paper pres...

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... For physical effects of microplastic (with the EF from Lavoie et al., 2021) the XF is equal to 1 as it is assumed that the total amount of MNP reaching an aquatic environment is available to organisms. If considering the inclusion of toxic effects of chemical additives, the bioavailability of the relevant toxic chemical would need to be considered to modify the XF accordingly as done in Tang et al. (2022). ...
Article
Ongoing efforts focus on quantifying plastic pollution and describing and estimating the related magnitude of exposure and impacts on human and environmental health. Data gathered during such work usually follows a receptor perspective. However, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) represents an emitter perspective. This study examines existing data gathering and reporting approaches for field and laboratory studies on micro- and nanoplastics (MNPs) exposure and effects relevant to LCA data inputs. The outcomes indicate that receptor perspective approaches do not typically provide suitable or sufficiently harmonised data. Improved design is needed in the sampling, testing and recording of results using harmonised, validated and comparable methods, with more comprehensive reporting of relevant data. We propose a three-level set of requirements for data recording and reporting to increase the potential for LCA studies and models to utilise data gathered in receptor-oriented studies. We show for which purpose such data can be used as inputs to LCA, particularly in life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods. Implementing these requirements will facilitate proper integration of the potential environmental impacts of plastic losses from human activity (e.g. litter) into LCA. Then, the impacts of plastic emissions can eventually be connected and compared with other environmental issues related to anthropogenic activities.
... For physical effects of microplastic (with the EF from Lavoie et al., 2021) the XF is equal to 1 as it is assumed that the total amount of MNP reaching an aquatic environment is available to organisms. If considering the inclusion of toxic effects of chemical additives, the bioavailability of the relevant toxic chemical would need to be considered to modify the XF accordingly as done in Tang et al. (2022). ...
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Plastic is a ubiquitous material that has caused major environmental impacts. Ecosystem damage from improperly disposed plastic waste is the most visible of these impacts; however, plastic also has less visible environmental impacts throughout its supply chain. At the same time, plastic is not unique in possessing severe, often invisible, environmental impacts that occur throughout its life cycle. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a helpful tool can be used to contextualize the environmental impacts of plastic compared with alternative solutions or material substitutes. LCA can broaden our understanding of the environmental impacts of a product beyond what is the most obvious and visible, taking a comprehensive view that encompasses raw material extraction, manufacturing, transportation, use, and end-of-life. LCA can be used to target specific areas for improvement, understand and evaluate tradeoffs among different materials, and can be helpful to avoid environmental problem-shifting. This review provides an overview of the LCA process and describes the benefits and limitations of LCA methods as they pertain to plastic and plastic waste. This paper summarizes major trends that are observed in prior LCA studies, along with a discussion of how LCA can best be used to help resolve the plastics problem without causing other unintended issues. The life cycle perspective analyzes the environmental impact associated with a specific product, often comparing the environmental impacts of one alternative to another. An alternative perspective analyzes the aggregated environmental impacts of the entire plastic sector, analyzing the full scope and scale of plastics in the environment. Both perspectives provide meaningful data and insights, yet each provides an incomplete understanding of the plastics problem. The comparative LCA perspective and the aggregated environmental impact perspective can complement one another and lead to overall improved environmental outcomes when used in tandem. The discussion highlights that reduced consumption of the underlying need for plastic is the only way to ensure reduced environmental impacts, whereas interventions that promote material substitution and or incentivize shifts toward other kinds of consumption may result in unintended environmental consequences.