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Tag: microplastics

Record concentration of microplastics found in Arctic

Record concentration of microplastics found in Arctic

Science
Record levels of microplastics have been found trapped inside sea ice floating in the Arctic.Ice cores gathered across the Arctic Ocean reveal microplastics at concentrations two to three times higher than previously recorded.As sea ice melts with climate change, the plastic will be released back into the water, with unknown effects on wildlife, say German scientists.Traces of 17 different types of plastic were found in frozen seawater.Microplastics are tiny plastic pieces under five millimetres long. They can be eaten by filter-feeding animals and passed up the food chain. A considerable amount of microplastic is released directly into the ocean by the gradual breakdown of larger pieces of plastic. But microplastics can also enter the sea from health and beauty products, washing synthetic...
Microplastics are 'littering' riverbeds

Microplastics are 'littering' riverbeds

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceMicroscopic plastic beads, fragments and fibres are littering riverbeds across the UK - from rural streams to urban waterways. This is according to a study that analysed sediments from rivers in north-west England. Scientists from the University of Manchester tested river sediments at 40 sites throughout Greater Manchester and found "microplastics everywhere". There is evidence that such small particles can enter the food chain. The findings, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, are the first from a "systematic basin-wide" study, the researchers say.In a first round of tests, just one of the sites - in the upper reaches of the River Goyt, which is one of the tributaries of the River Mersey - contained no plastic. But when the researchers ...
Scapa Flow microplastics levels 'similar to Forth and Clyde'

Scapa Flow microplastics levels 'similar to Forth and Clyde'

Science
Scientists have found levels of microplastic pollution on beaches around Scapa Flow in Orkney are similar to those in industrialised areas like the Forth and Clyde.Researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh took more than 100 sediment samples from 13 beaches on Hoy and the Orkney mainland.Some plastic is believed to come from clothes which contain polymer fibres.These are not caught by washing machine filters or at treatment works.The micro-particles are thought to have been blown up the east coast.Tidal flowsAlthough more work is needed, researchers say plastic is carried on complex tidal flows through the Pentland Firth, with Scapa Flow acting like a giant sieve capturing the particles.Dr Mark Hartl, from Heriot-Watt, said: "The fact that a relatively remote island has similar mi...