Mis à jour le 08/07/22
The fate of plastic debris in marine aquatic systems has become a major worldwide environmental issue. The land-based origin of plastic and the role of rivers and estuaries on their emissions to the ocean is now recognized. In 2015, Jambeck et al., reported that within the top ten countries emitting the largest amount of plastic into the oceans, seven were low-income countries and five were from South East Asia. In this list, Vietnam was ranked at 4th place. Furthermore, there is so far a drastic lack of data on plastic contamination in rivers and estuaries of developing countries. Microplastics (MiP), i.e. plastic items smaller than 5mm, are ubiquitous in the aquatic environment: ocean, river, estuary, lake, rainwater.
They originate from primary plastic degradation, from wastewaters of textile, apparel and manufactured industry and from domestic wastewaters via personal care products and clothes washing. Once in the environment, they can induce deleterious effects on the survival and reproduction of aquatic organisms and can also affect human health through seafood/ salt ingestion and inhalation of airborne MiP. In this context, the JEAI PLASTIC research project aims to provide a holistic point of view of MiP pollution at the river-ocean interface in Vietnam and its consequences on aquatic organisms and risks to humans. The project is structured around three work packages. The WP1 will assess the contamination, fate and transport of MiP in water and sediment of three Vietnamese river basins (Red River-Delta, Saigon Dongnai Rivers, Mekong Delta,) characterized by specific plastic emission activities (respectively recycling, textile and manufactured industry, inhabitant dumping).
The WP2 will assess the risk of MiP for aquatic organisms and humans via MiP bioaccumulation measurements, ecotoxicological exposure and risk calculation. Finally, the WP3 will focus on the adaptation of water treatment technologies to reduce MiP inputs to the aquatic environment. The coupling of field sampling and experimental actions will bring a complementary vision of the research questions arisen. The multidisciplinary approach combining environmental sciences, ecotoxicology, water engineering and marine sciences, makes it possible to deepen the research questions through a constructive dialogue and to build a knowledge both general and precise on this theme.
This dialogue will support the reflection on how to disseminate knowledge to non-scientific actors, in order to meet the environmental and societal challenge posed by microplastics in the environment.