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Microplastics: under the sea


The seminal 2018 report done by researchers at the University of Manchester revealed that the UK’s rivers are heavily contaminated with microplastics, which are very small pieces of plastic debris including microbeads, microfibres and plastic fragments which enter river systems from sources like industrial waste, storm water drains and domestic wastewater.

However, recent research shows that this is extending at a much wider scale, with many ocean floors becoming concentrations for microplastics as they are circulated from river systems. This is particularly alarming since ocean floors tend to be biodiversity hotspots and as they accumulate can have a devastating impact on our fisheries and the wider marine ecosystem. Microplastics pose a problem to marine life by releasing pollutants and toxins, but also can have impacts on nervous and reproductive systems when they are inadvertently ingested.

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