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Plastic is everywhere. It’s not just a question of managing waste – which certainly is highly invasive (between 5 and 13 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year) – but of how microplastic and nanoplastic find their way into the food chain. The sadness we feel at the sight of dead albatrosses, turtles, and whales and polluted beaches needs to be transformed into action, because the paths to sustainability exist and are within our reach. The health of the human species, too, increasingly at risk, must be protected. The first part of the book is a history of plastic, from its origins in 1907 to the present day, providing readers with a general framework of the problem and the difficulties and complexities of its management. The second part explains how microplastic enters the food chain – and, therefore, food – and comes to constitute the greatest source of human exposure to plastic.

“Greco reminds us that plastic has by now invaded every space, from the Antarctic ice to the bottom of the sea, to our very own intestines. And this is not surprising, seeing that since 1950 the production of plastic has increased over 200% and shows no signs of stopping. At this pace, in 2030 we will produce 40% more plastic than we do today. The solution? ” Giving up plastic altogether is not possible, but we can reduce it and increase the percentage of plastic material that is recycled, we can also abolish single-use plastics. Otherwise, it will soon be difficult to distinguish a plastic plate from what is served on it.” – Giuliano Aluffi, “il Venerdì di Repubblica”

Silvio Greco is a marine biologist. Advisor to the Italian Ministry of the Environment and an expert on agri-food and fishing, he was a researcher at the Italian National Research Council’s Thalassographic Institute and a lecturer at the University of Naples Federico II. He currently teaches Animal Production at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, is Director of Research at ISPRA (the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), and presides over the scientific committee for Slow Fish.