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Over the last 50 years, the intense use of agricultural plastic in the form of mulch films has led to an accumulation of plastic in soil, creating a legacy of plastic in agricultural fields. Plastic often contains additives, however it is still largely unknown how these compounds affect soil properties, potentially influencing or masking effects of the plastic itself. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pure plastics of varying sizes and concentrations, to improve our understanding of plastic-only interactions within soil-plant mesocosms. Maize (Zea mays L.) was grown over eight weeks following the addition of micro and macro low-density polyethylene and polypropylene at increasing concentrations (equivalent to 1, 10, 25, and 50 years mulch film use) and the effects of plastic on key soil and plant properties were measured. We found the effect of both macro and microplastic on soil and plant health is negligible in the short-term (1 to
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131932
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Early online date26 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2023

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