UN Environmental Effects Assessment Panel Update Assessment 2023
Solar ultraviolet radiation is a contributing factor in the environmental fate of toxic chemicals and other contaminants, with consequences that may be either beneficial or detrimental for the health of humans and the environment. This Assessment Update (2023) by the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) focusses on the role and significance of UV radiation and associated drivers on the breakdown of plastic waste in the environment. Plastic is a ubiquitous pollutant. UV radiation and mechanical stress drive the degradation and fragmentation of larger plastic waste into smaller micro- and nanoplastics. The Assessment Update considers the interactive effects of UV radiation and climate change on plastic durability, weathering, longevity, and ultimately the fate of plastic debris.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Plastics in the environment in the context of UV radiation, climate change and the Montreal Protocol. 2023 Assessment Update of the UNEP Environmental Effects Assessment Panel, UNEP: Nairobi, 2023