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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.
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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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