Abstract: Microplastics are widely detected in wastewater treatment plants. They can remove microplastics from wastewaters with a high yield, but it means that microplastics are transferred and accumulated to sewage sludge. Lately, increasing attention has been paid to microplastics in raw and treated wastewaters. However, studies about quantification and identification of microplastics in sewage sludge are very scarce and need to be further investigated. Since the sludge-based microplastics are newly studied and are a challenging matrix due to high organic content, there is limited knowledge of sampling, pre-treatment methods, identification techniques, and expression units. Besides, treated sewage sludge is mostly used for soil amendment to improve soil fertility and it gives economic advantages. This situation creates a pathway for microplastics entering the soil environment with unknown consequences. To the best of our knowledge, microplastics have a large specific surface area, small size, and hydrophobicity which makes it a good adsorbent for other pollutants. Therefore, the combined effect of microplastics with adsorbed pollutants such as heavy metals, antibiotics, and persistent organic pollutants could give serious harm to soil safety and soil organisms. Herein, new developments in the methods for sampling, pre-treatment, and identification techniques of microplastics in sewage sludge were reviewed. Then, the abundance of microplastics, major polymer types, and shapes in sewage sludge were examined. Finally, the effects and ecological risks of microplastic pollution as a result of agricultural usage of sewage sludge in the soil environment have been summarized. Also, the main points for future research were highlighted.
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