Environmental plastics in the context of UV radiation, climate change, and the Montreal Protocol

Jansen, Marcel A.K., Andrady, Anthony L., Barnes, Paul W., Busquets, Rosa, Revell, Laura E., Bornman, Janet F., Aucamp, Pieter J., Bais, Alkiviadis F., Banaszak, Anastazia T., Bernhard, Germar H., Bruckman, Laura S., Häder, Donat‐P., Hanson, Mark L., Heikkilä, Anu M., Hylander, Samuel, Lucas, Robyn M., Mackenzie, Roy, Madronich, Sasha, Neale, Patrick J., Neale, Rachel E., Olsen, Catherine M., Ossola, Rachele, Pandey, Krishna K., Petropavlovskikh, Irina, Robinson, Sharon A., Robson, Matthew ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8631-796X , Rose, Kevin C., Solomon, Keith R., Sulbæk Andersen, Mads P., Sulzberger, Barbara, Wallington, Timothy J., Wang, Qing‐Wei, Wängberg, Sten‐Åke, White, Christopher C., Young, Antony R., Zepp, Richard G. and Zhu, Liping (2024) Environmental plastics in the context of UV radiation, climate change, and the Montreal Protocol. Global Change Biology, 30 (4). e17279.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.17279


There are close links between solar UV radiation, climate change, and plastic pollution. UV-driven weathering is a key process leading to the degradation of plastics in the environment but also the formation of potentially harmful plastic fragments such as micro- and nanoplastic particles. Estimates of the environmental persistence of plastic pollution, and the formation of fragments, will need to take in account plastic dispersal around the globe, as well as projected UV radiation levels and climate change factors. UV radiation, climate change, and plastic pollution are closely interlinked. Existing studies on the persistence of plastics do not fully consider these linkages, challenging global assessments of plastic dispersal, persistence, and weathering. Recently, an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee was tasked with developing an international binding agreement to end plastic pollution. In response, the UNEP Environmental Effects Assessment Panel assessed effects of UV radiation and interacting climate change factors on plastics, focusing on the durability of products as well as the production and dispersal of micro- and nano-plastic pollutants in the environment.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Global Change Biology
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1365-2486
Departments: Institute of Science and Environment > Forestry and Conservation
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2024 12:00
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2024 12:02
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/7649


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