Polluting microplastics harm both animals and ecosystems

Education Updates

People around the world discard tons of tiny bits of plastic every year. Those bits can break down into pieces no bigger than a sesame seed or piece of lint. Much of that waste eventually will wind up loose in the environment. These microplastics have been found throughout the oceans and locked in Arctic ice. They can end up in the food chain, showing up in animalsbig and small. Now a host of new studies show that microplastics can break down rapidly. And in some cases, they can alter entire ecosystems. 

Scientists have been finding these plastic bits in all kinds of animals, from tiny crustaceans to birds and whales. Their size is a concern. Small animals low on the food chain eat them. When larger animals feed on the small animals, they can end up also consuming large amounts of plastic.

And that plastic…

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