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Microplastics – News and Features

Microplastics on the beach.

Microplastics Make Their Way from the Gut to Other Organs

University of New Mexico researchers found that those tiny particles – microplastics – are having a significant impact on our digestive pathways, making their way from the gut and into the tissues of the kidney, liver and brain.
A pond next to a road.

Retention Ponds Reduce Tyre Particle Pollution

Retention ponds and wetlands constructed as part of major road schemes can reduce the quantities of tyre particles entering the aquatic environment by an average of 75%, new research has shown.
A scientist in a lab.

Researchers Discover Path to More Environmentally Friendly Plastics

FAMU-FSU College of Engineering researchers have created a potential alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastic that is made from carbon dioxide (CO2) and lignin, a component of wood that is a low-cost byproduct of paper manufacturing and biofuel production.
Microplastics in the ocean.

Plant-Based Plastic Releases Nine Times Fewer Microplastics Than Conventional Plastic

A newly developed plant-based plastic material releases nine times less microplastics than conventional plastic when exposed to sunlight and seawater, a new study has found.
The sea floor, covered in rocks.

Ocean Floor a Reservoir for Plastic Pollution

The first study of its kind has estimated that up to 11 million tons of plastic pollution is sitting on the ocean floor, which is more than 100 times greater than is on the ocean's surface.
A forest canopy below a blue sky.

Forests Can Trap Airborne Plastics

A research group has found that airborne microplastics adsorb to the epicuticular wax on the surface of forest canopy leaves and that forests may act as terrestrial sinks for airborne microplastics.
An archeological site in southern Anatolia.

Microplastics Are Contaminating Archaeological Remains, Scientists Say

A new study has identified 16 different microplastic polymer types in samples dating back to the first or early second century and excavated in the late 1980s.
A plastic container lying on a beach.

Researchers Develop Biodegradable Plastic That Won’t Leave Microplastics Behind

The new plant-based polymers biodegrade in under seven months, even at the microplastic level.
Plastic clumping together in blue ocean water.

Large Amounts of Plastic Are Accumulating in the Ocean, Even Outside the Notorious “Garbage Patch”

A new study has revealed the extent of the spread of plastic across the North Pacific ocean, finding large quantities outside of the notorious "garbage patch".
A seagull walking along the top of a wooden fence.

97% of Antarctic Seabirds Have Ingested Microplastic

A new review of seabird studies suggests that the vast majority of arctic and antarctic seabirds have ingested microplastic particles.