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The Invasion of Microplastics in the Ocean

I bumped into a pretty shocking article published by the World Economic Forum.
According to the article, new research suggests that the scale of plastic pollution in our oceans could be a million times worse than previously recorded.

To more accurately record the level of microplastic pollution in ocean waters, researchers took an interesting approach and analyzed the intestines of tiny filter-feeding invertebrates called salps, finding previously undetected mini-microplastics.

Salps pump saltwater through their bodies as they perform a pulsing movement both to feed and to move through the ocean. Filter-feeding in the ocean depths makes them a likely place to find microplastics.

And now comes the shocking part: All of the salp samples taken from three different ocean zones had mini-microplastic particles in their stomachs. Since food passes through the creature’s digestive system in two to seven hours, it is an alarming find.
The findings overtake previous estimates of 10 microplastic fragments per cubic metre of ocean water. When the abundance of mini-microplastics is included, the recalibrated figure is closer to 8.3 million pieces per cubic metre. More than one-third of microplastics in the ocean come from synthetic fabrics, such as polyester or nylon.

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