Around four billion minute fibres could be littering each square kilometre of some of the world’s deep seas, demonstrating that plastic debris is now creating cause for concern in some of the remotest parts of the marine environment.
That is one of the findings of a pioneering international study examining the scale of the presence of microplastics at depths of up to 3500m in parts of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Existing research had shown that in recent decades plastic debris has become almost omnipresent on the world’s coastlines, but the extent of its concentration close to shorelines had not increased in line with predictions based on the production and use of plastic.
However, the current study – led by scientists from Plymouth University and the Natural History Museum – indicates this may be because microplastics have sunk to the ocean floor, with the number of fibres recorded as being up to four times more abundant in the deep seas than in shallow and coastal waters.
In fact, the current study has led scientists to suggest – in areas of the Indian Ocean at least – that around 4 billion fibres per km² would be present in seamounts.
The Latest on: Microplastics
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The Latest on: Microplastics
- Sydney beaches and rivers contain high levels of microplastics, scientists findon March 6, 2021 at 5:15 pm
Some Sydney beaches and rivers are being described as "hotspots" for tiny fragments of plastic pollution created as debris breaks down, threatening marine life. But citizen scientists are helping to ...
- Study samples 50 major state bodies of water, microplastics were found in 100% of sampleson March 6, 2021 at 4:53 pm
A new study has found microplastics in every one of Pennsylvania’s rivers and waterways, including major rivers near Pittsburgh.
- Some people pushing to enact legislation to reduce the use of single-use plasticson March 5, 2021 at 4:10 pm
The organization wants the government to ban a material used to make single-use plastics, like plastic utensils, bags at the grocery store, and straws. Republican state Rep. Gary Day says he'd like to ...
- Microplastics found in 100% of sampled Pennsylvania waterways, study showson March 4, 2021 at 9:23 am
Studies released this week suggest microplastics—tiny polymer fragments—are ubiquitous in local waterways, even finding their way into the guts and digestive tracts of the prized blue crabs that ...
- Microplastics pollution in Lancaster County waters poses potential health threat, experts say: 'They are everywhere'on March 4, 2021 at 3:30 am
Tiny pieces of plastic are polluting some of Lancaster County’s most well-known waterways, where local researchers fear they could pose threats to both human health and wildlife. In fact, the ...
- Microplastics found in Delaware River, four other Monroe County siteson March 3, 2021 at 11:48 am
Swimmers and boaters on Pennsylvania’s waterways can’t see them, but the small pollutants are certainly present: Microplastics were found in all 53 sites that PennEnvironment tested ...
- PA waterways choking on microplastics, from Allegheny to Susquehanna to Delaware: reporton March 3, 2021 at 9:58 am
A study by an environmental advocacy group found microplastic pollution in 53 streams, rivers and lakes in the state and calls for action to reduce it.
- New science on microplastics suggests macro problemson March 1, 2021 at 5:54 am
Scientists have now shown that microplastics are cycling in global dust and water cycles, and can be found from the deepest ocean trenches to the ...
- Microplastics could affect the healing process for COVID-19 patientson February 26, 2021 at 5:30 am
A new study has found that microplastics can inhibit lungs that are growing or trying to heal themselves, particularly after health conditions like COVID-19.
- Study reports "shocking" findings of microplastics in the Arcticon February 24, 2021 at 11:40 am
The Ocean Wise report indicates that ocean currents are transporting microplastics from countries surrounding the Atlantic Ocean ...
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