Saturday, July 25, 2015

How much plastics are in the ocean and Great Lakes?

How much plastics are in the ocean and Great Lakes?
Monitoring Large Debris
Currently, no one knows exactly how much plastic marine debris enters the ocean each day, though some estimates do exist. NOAA's Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project is one such effort to understand the amount of plastics on our shorelines.
Counting Microplastic Debris
What about the plastic debris pieces that are too small to count while at the beach? A laboratory method is needed to count small plastics <5mm in length, known as microplastics. Researchers at the University of Washington Tacoma, in partnership with the NOAA Marine Debris Program, have developed a reliable method to quantify microplastics (by weight) in a sand, sediment, or water sample. It has also been used to quantify plastics used in personal care products, such as facial cleansers and scrubs that use tiny plastics as abrasives. New research continues into a process to isolate microplastic particles and confirm their polymer composition (i.e., type of plastic) through infrared spectroscopy.

Home Electronics Disposal

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