Accumulating Microplastic Threat to Shores
Plastic pollution on shore. Photograph: © SAF
Microscopic plastic debris from washing clothes is accumulating in the marine environment and could be entering the food chain, a study has warned…
“Accumulation of Microplastic on Shorelines Woldwide: Sources and Sinks,” Original Study.
Plastic debris <1 mm (defined here as microplastic) is accumulating in marine habitats. Ingestion of microplastic provides a potential pathway for the transfer of pollutants, monomers, and plastic-additives to organisms with uncertain consequences for their health. Here, we show that microplastic contaminates the shorelines at 18 sites worldwide representing six continents from the poles to the equator, with more material in densely populated areas, but no clear relationship between the abundance of miocroplastics and the mean size-distribution of natural particulates. An important source of microplastic appears to be through sewage contaminated by fibers from washing clothes.