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environment. Inthelightof this, treatingmicroplasticsasasinglepollutantdoesnot make sense. Therefore, we kick off the book by giving a brief overview onwhat plasticsare,where theycomefrom,andwheretheygotointheenvironment.Asthe researchonengineerednanomaterials faces similar challenges,we then lookmore deeply into the (dis)similarities of nanoparticles andmicroplastics and try to learn frompast experiences. We continuewith five chapters focusing on the abundance ofmicroplastics in freshwater systems, touchingonanalyticalchallenges,discussingcasestudies from Europe,Asia, andAfrica aswell as approaches formodeling the fate and transport of microplastics. As the biological interactions of synthetic polymers will drive their environmental impacts,we review the stateof the sciencewith regard to their toxicity infreshwater speciesandbiofilmformation.While,admittedly,progress in this area is slow,we already learned that “It’s the ecology, stupid!” to paraphrase BillClinton. The last part of the book is dedicated to the question how society and microplastics interact. We take a sociological perspective on the risk perception of theissueathandanddiscusshowthis“vibrates” inthemedialandpolitical realm and the society at large.While the uncertainty in our understanding is still enor- mous, we conclude our book with an outlook on how to solve the problem of environmental plastics.Wehave in our hands aplethora of regulatory instruments ranging fromsoft to hardmeasures, ofwhich someare already applied.However, because the linear economicalmodelour societies arebuilt on is at theheart of the problem,wecritically revisitavailablesolutionsandput it into the largercontextof an emerging circular economy. Given the wickedness of the plastics problem in terms of material properties, analytical challenges, biological interactions, and resonance in society,we clearly needan inter- and transdisciplinaryeffort to tackle it.Wehope thisbookpromotes suchview.Wealsohope it conveys the idea thatweneed to embrace the inherent complexity to solve it. We thank our authors, reviewers, the publisher, and all funders for following this path andmaking this bookhappen (andopen access). Frankfurt amMain,Germany MartinWagner June2017 ScottLambert xii Preface
Freshwater Microplastics Emerging Environmental Contaminants?