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The Smallest Hitchhikers - Marine Microbes may hold the key to the ocean's disappearing plastic

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We know that at the heart of at least two ocean basins—the North Pacific and the North Atlantic—tiny plastic fragments the size of confetti or smaller are accumulating on the sea surface by the tens of thousands, the remnants of discarded grocery bags, cups, bottles and other waste.

Last year a group of researchers publishing in the journal Science reported a mystery: during a 22-year survey of plastic accumulation in the western North Atlantic, the scientists saw no increase in the amount of plastic, despite a surge in annual global plastic production from about 75 million to 245 million metric tons over the same period. Where was it going? New research shows marine microbes may be feasting on the debris.

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More info: http://www.sea.edu/plastics/sea-research.htm
 
 

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