© 2019 by ocean everblue.

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  • Many popular commercial hygiene products like face and body scrubs contain microplastics which are washed down the drain when used. These kinds of products alone contribute an estimated 5000g of microplastics to the waste stream annually. In the marine environment, microplastics attract toxins and contaminants, and are often consumed by a variety of small fish and invertebrates.

>> Microplastics in Facial Exfoliating Cleansers. Michelle Chang. 2013.

 

  • A study in Brazil found that all stranded sea turtles and 40% of stranded seabirds surveyed had marine debris in their digestive systems, and noted that “the only available method to reduce marine debris ingestion rates is a significant decrease of their sources and inputs to the marine and coastal environments.”

>> Is marine debris ingestion still a problem for the coastal marine biota of southern Brazil? Paula S. Tourinho et al. 2010.

 

  • Plastic in the ocean does not decompose into its original components, but it DOES break apart. This can happen through the wearing effects of light (photodegradation,) heat (thermooxidative degradation,) water (hydrolytic degradation,) and microorganisms (biodegradation.) This wear over time leads to smaller and smaller pieces of plastic in the sea.

>> Plastic degradation and its environmental implications with special reference to polyethylene terephthalate. Hayden K. Webb et al. 2013.

 

  • Our clothing is primarily made up of plastic textiles, such as polyester or nylon. As our clothing breaks down due to washing, aging and normal wear and tear, small plastic microfibers are released into the environment. These fibers are ending up in our rivers and streams, where they are carried to the ocean. A recent study found as many as 300 million microfibers enter the Atlantic Ocean from the Hudson River every day!

>> Mountains to the sea: River study of plastic and non-plastic microfiber pollution in the northeast USA. Miller et al. 2017.