Purpose: Microplastics (MPs) are ubiquitous, persistent pollutants that are reported in abundance in all environments and biota. This review highlights the identification, distribution and concentration of microplastics in all aquatic environments and biota in the India region which is one of the least studied with only forty-four papers published on microplastics during 2013-2020 in the web of science.
Results: The present review focuses on the concentration of microplastics in different aquatic environments such as 3096 items/kg in marine sediments, 106 items/kg in biota, 59 items/L in seawater, 175 items/kg in sea salt, 33.9 items/L in lake water, 336 items/kg in lake sediments, 288 pieces/m3 in river water, and 328 items/kg in river sediments.
Conclusion: Consequently, we studied the distribution and occurrence of pollution from MPs in coastal and freshwater environments such as rivers, lakes and biota. Therefore, we propose extending studies in all the above areas of microplastics knowing that there are many unique aquatic habitats and species that are yet unexplored. For future research, we suggest new methods for sampling MPs in all marine ecosystems and biota. Assessing research in each of these ways will allow suggesting a microplastic threshold level and devising control initiatives to minimize plastic consumption and its eventual hazard to the aquatic ecosystem. Moreover enforcing strict laws, enhancing legal initiatives, well-planned comprehensive waste management policies and spontaneous public engagement are essential to create awareness of marine plastic pollution and reduce the adverse effects of land-based plastics.