The New Way Microplastics Are Devastating Marine Life

By now, we're all aware that there is an unbelievable amount of trash in our oceans. New research shows how this is changing marine life.

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Plankton feces could move plastic pollution to the ocean depths (EurekAlert)
"This new study showed plankton that ate polystyrene microplastics produced faeces that were lighter than normal and therefore sank more slowly. Because these pellets sink slower there will be greater opportunity for them to be eaten by animals."

Ingested plastic transfers hazardous chemicals to fish and induces hepatic stress (Nature)
"Here, we show that fish, exposed to a mixture of polyethylene with chemical pollutants sorbed from the marine environment, bioaccumulate these chemical pollutants and suffer liver toxicity and pathology."

Quantitation of persistent organic pollutants adsorbed on plastic debris from the Northern Pacific Gyre's "eastern garbage patch" (Journal of Environmental Monitoring)
"The concentrations of pollutants found ranged from a few ppb to thousands of ppb. The types of PCBs and PAHs found were similar to those found in marine sediments. However, these plastic particles were mostly polyethylene which is resistant to degradation and although functioning similarly to sediments in accumulating pollutants, these had remained on or near the ocean surface."