Simulated sunlight reveals how 98% of plastics at sea go missing each year

Study explores removal mechanisms, microbial impacts and lifetimes of select microplastics on the ocean surface Florida Atlantic University A schematic figure of plastic photo-dissolution and plastic dissolved organic carbon (DOC) biodegradation.  Credit: Lee Ann DeLeo Trillions of plastic fragments are afloat at sea, which cause large “garbage patches” to form in rotating ocean currents called…

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Plastics Yet Again

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen   The New York Times has treated us to another episode of the Great Plastics-Last-Forever  Urban Legend in their recent article “The Immense, Eternal Footprint Humanity Leaves on Earth: Plastics” by the incredible Tatiana Schlossberg (here and here). The New York Times’ article breathlessly reports: “From the 1950s to today,…

Big Numbers, Small Numbers

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach I read a paper today that said that there are no less than 270,000,000 kilograms of plastic in the ocean, which is about half a billion pounds plus of plastic. So … is this a big number or a small number? The story is at the Guardian, and they’ve illustrated…