Fungi as a potential solution to microplastic pollution: A qualitative study examining the opportunities and obstacles of implementing mycoremediation in Swedish agricultural soils from a perspective of ecological sustainability

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för globala studier

Sammanfattning: The world is facing microplastic pollution in almost all areas, as a result of increased manufacture and use of plastics in recent years. One of the most highly polluted environments are agricultural soils, which are estimated to contain up to 14 percent of all microplastic pollution. Few effective methods exist to solve this problem. Mycoremediation, the use of fungi to remove toxic wastes from the environment, is a method that has been known for more than 20 years, but hasn’t yet been implemented on a large scale. Using material which is gathered from semi structured interviews with mycologists and researchers on microplastic pollution, this study examines the opportunities and obstacles related to ecological sustainability for the implementation of mycoremediation as a method to remove microplastics from agricultural soils in Sweden. The study uses ecological sustainability as its main framework to discuss the topic, but also interconnects concepts such as sustainability discourse, governance through goals and strong & weak sustainability to analyze the obstacles and opportunities of a full scale implementation of mycoremediation. The results of the study show that the lack of research, risk of negative environmental effects, sustainability discourse and environmental sustainability being on the agenda as the main obstacles and opportunities for implementation of mycoremediation within the agricultural sector in Sweden.

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