(ORDO NEWS) — Most of the plastic waste produced by humans ends up in water bodies. What happens to them next remains a mystery.
A new study has shed light on this question: the concentration of this material at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea has tripled since 2000.
Now, a separate team from Spain‘s Autonomous University of Barcelona and Denmark’s Aalborg University has published new research on microplastics in the Mediterranean, with a focus on how it sinks to the seafloor and what happens next.
The team collected sediment cores from the western Mediterranean Sea and used advanced imaging technology to study particles as small as 11 micrometres.
The team found that microplastics persist in the seafloor once they hit it. Scientists say the lack of degradation may be due to a lack of erosion, oxygen, or light.
Scientists have been able to timeline plastic pollution of the seabed and claim that the amount of microplastics has tripled since 2000, and that the pattern of plastic accumulation in this hotspot reflects global plastic production and use between 1965 and 2000.
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