Marine Plastic

Type of plastic bags

  • The types of plastic bags used were:
  1. Conventional
  2. Degradable
  3. Biodegradable
  • They had no effect on the rate of ingestion.
  • However, the presence of a biofilm led to the shredding which took place around four times quickly.

 

Results

  • Through monitoring in the laboratory and on the shoreline, researchers demonstrated that the plastic bags were torn and stretched by Orchestia gammarellus.
  • The micro-plastics were subsequently being found in and around their faecal matter.

 

Spreading of microplastics

  • The results of study shows that the marine wildlife are actually contributing to the spread of micro-plastics within the marine environment.

 

Microplastics

  • Plastic is the most prevalent type of marine debris found in ocean and lakes.
  • Plastic debris can come in all shapes and sizes, but those that are less than five millimetres in length are called microplastics.
  • They come from a variety of sources, including cosmetics, clothing and industrial processes.

 

Classifications of microplastics

  1. Primary microplastics- They are manufactured and are a direct result of human material and product use.
  2. Secondary microplastics- They are microscopic plastic fragments derived from the breakdown of larger plastic debris like the macroscopic parts.

 

Orchestia gammarellus

  • It is a species of amphipod in the family Talitridae.

 

Distribution

  • They are widely distributed in Northern and Western Europe.

 

Habitat

  • This amphipod lives in a wide range of habitats, occurring in marine environments such as shallow waters, the intertidal zone and in estuaries.
  • It also lives in semi-terrestrial areas away from water, provided those areas are damp enough.
  • It can be commonly found on shingle shores under decaying debris concentrated around the high water mark.
Section : Environment & Ecology

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