OCEANPLASTICS: Scientists have discovered microplastics in sea spray.

14. May 2020 | Plastics, Waste | via Theguardian.com


Scientists have discovered microplastics in sea spray. (Credit: Elias Sch. / Pixabay)

The study, by researchers at the University of Strathclyde and the Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées at the University of Toulouse, found tiny plastic fragments in sea spray, suggesting they are being ejected by the sea in bubbles, tells Karen McVeigh in her article on Theguardian.com. The findings, published in the journal Plos One, cast doubt on the assumption that once in the ocean, plastic stays put, as well as on the widespread belief in the restorative power of sea breeze.

Around 359m tons of plastic was manufactured globally in 2018, and some studies suggest as much as 10% of it ends up in the sea each year.

Steve Allen, a PhD candidate at Strathclyde who co-led the study, said: “Sea breeze has traditionally been considered ‘clean air’ but this study shows surprising amounts of microplastic particles being carried by it. It appears that some plastic particles could be leaving the sea and entering the atmosphere along with sea salt, bacteria, viruses and algae.”