Articles on Microplastics

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Drift ice forming in the Baltic Sea, where microplastic concentrations are at levels similar to those in the Arctic. The incorporation of microplastics into sea ice affects how well the ice absorbs or reflects solar energy. Shutterstock

Microplastics may affect how Arctic sea ice forms and melts

Levels of microplastics in the ocean are rising. More study is needed to figure out how these microplastics affect the qualities and properties of sea ice, and what the potential impact may be.
This biodegradable plastic bag had plenty of life left in it, even after three years. Lloyd Russell/University of Plymouth

When biodegradable plastic is not biodegradable

Biodegradable bags still strong enough to carry shopping after three years in the ground show that 'biodegradability' isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Microplastics in the Mediterranean Sea. By Dirk Wahn/shutterstock.com

We are guinea pigs in a worldwide experiment on microplastics

Microplastics are everywhere--our water, soil, and even the air we breathe. The consequences of this exposure on human health is unknown. But studies in animals give us reason to worry.
Microplastic in the soil is extremely difficult to track (or remove). Florida Sea Grant

We have no idea how much microplastic is in Australia’s soil (but it could be a lot)

Ocean plastic has made a big splash, but there may be even more microplastic on land. The problem is that we have no idea exactly how much is in Australian soil, where it is, and what it's doing.

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