Plastic pollution has become a major scientific and societal problem. Because of the rapid increase in plastic manufacture and consumption. Despite a gradual growth in plastic recycling and energy recovery, the majority of plastic wastes are released into the environment on a global scale (Blasing and Amelung, 2018). Microplastics (MPs) have recently been the subject of environmental research due to their small size and potential impact on terrestrial ecosystems. Microplastic is described as a plastic with a diameter of less than 5 mm and comes in a range of morphologies, including beads, fragments, fibres, and films. MPs are divided into two categories: primary MPs, which are formed in small quantities and discharged into the environment, and secondary MPs, which are degraded from bigger plastic wastes due to water, wind, sunshine, and other environmental factors. Primary MPs are released directly into the environment, whereas secondary MPs are formed by the breakdown of large-size chunks. Microplastics can enter agroecosystems through a variety of routes, including fertiliser coatings (Heuchan et al., 2019), wastewater irrigation (Zhang and Liu, 2018), compost addition and biosolids application (Nizzetto et al., 2016; Weithmann et al., 2018), and, most importantly, the use of mulching film (Nizzetto et al., 2016). (Liu et al., 2014; Qi et al., 2018). In general, MPs decomposition in soil is extremely slow, requiring hundreds, if not thousands, of years to complete (Zubris and Richards, 2005; Andrady, 2011).
Microplastics can enter the body of an animal, particularly a human, through ingestion and inhalation, where they can accumulate in numerous organs and cause health problems, such as cell damage or inflammatory and immunological problems (Dick Vethaak et al., 2021). Many toxic and dangerous substances are found in microplastics, including bisphenol A, pthalates, antiminitroxide, brominated flame retardants, polyfluorinated chemicals, and others, all of which pose a major risk to human health and the environment. Different human health issues such as eye irritation, vision loss, breathing difficulties, respiratory problems, liver dysfunction, cancers, skin diseases, lungs problems, headache, dizziness, birth effect, reproductive, cardiovascular, genotoxic and gastrointestinal problems are all linked to the use of toxic plastics (Ram proshad et al., 2018).
Agricultural systems are the final beneficiaries of a variety of contaminants, including microplastics, whose impacts are relatively unclear (Razzaghi et al., 2018). In general, there is a lack of information of material fate and detrimental consequences in the agricultural system, which leads to food chain failure and an unknown channel of human exposure. Microplastics, depending on their size and type, can penetrate the seed, root, culm, leaves, and fruit cells (Dietz and Hertz, 2011). There is very few microplastic accumulation studies on regular consumed fruits and vegetables so we focused in this present study.
Currently, lacking of information on this subject due to the absence of data about the microplastics presence in edible fruits and vegetables. So we decided and applied our method to evaluate the microplastics <5mm presence in common edible fruits and vegetables. The aim of this study is to investigate the presence of microplastics present in regularly consumed vegetables like brinjal (Solanum tuberosum) and potato (Solanum melongena) and fruits of grapes (Vitis vinifera) and banana (Musa paradisiaca) and also identified and characterized the microplastics through various analytical methods.