Tiny plastic particles washed off household and industrial products could contribute up to 30 percent of the “plastic soup” polluting the world’s oceans and, in many developed countries, are a bigger source of marine plastic pollution than plastic waste, according to a new IUCN report.
The report looked at primary microplastics across seven geographical regions. Sources include car tires, synthetic textiles, marine coatings, road markings, personal care products, plastic pellets and city dust.
Plastic pollution harms marine wildlife and can accumulate in the food web, with potentially negative consequences for human health. Effects on fragile ecosystems in regions such as the Arctic, where microplastics could affect ice formation and melting, are still unknown.
Photo Credit: Race for Water/Christophe Launay