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      Microplastic Fallout in Different Indoor Environments

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          Lost at sea: where is all the plastic?

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            Accumulation and fragmentation of plastic debris in global environments.

            One of the most ubiquitous and long-lasting recent changes to the surface of our planet is the accumulation and fragmentation of plastics. Within just a few decades since mass production of plastic products commenced in the 1950s, plastic debris has accumulated in terrestrial environments, in the open ocean, on shorelines of even the most remote islands and in the deep sea. Annual clean-up operations, costing millions of pounds sterling, are now organized in many countries and on every continent. Here we document global plastics production and the accumulation of plastic waste. While plastics typically constitute approximately 10 per cent of discarded waste, they represent a much greater proportion of the debris accumulating on shorelines. Mega- and macro-plastics have accumulated in the highest densities in the Northern Hemisphere, adjacent to urban centres, in enclosed seas and at water convergences (fronts). We report lower densities on remote island shores, on the continental shelf seabed and the lowest densities (but still a documented presence) in the deep sea and Southern Ocean. The longevity of plastic is estimated to be hundreds to thousands of years, but is likely to be far longer in deep sea and non-surface polar environments. Plastic debris poses considerable threat by choking and starving wildlife, distributing non-native and potentially harmful organisms, absorbing toxic chemicals and degrading to micro-plastics that may subsequently be ingested. Well-established annual surveys on coasts and at sea have shown that trends in mega- and macro-plastic accumulation rates are no longer uniformly increasing: rather stable, increasing and decreasing trends have all been reported. The average size of plastic particles in the environment seems to be decreasing, and the abundance and global distribution of micro-plastic fragments have increased over the last few decades. However, the environmental consequences of such microscopic debris are still poorly understood.
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              Microplastics and Nanoplastics in Aquatic Environments: Aggregation, Deposition, and Enhanced Contaminant Transport

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Environmental Science & Technology
                Environ. Sci. Technol.
                American Chemical Society (ACS)
                0013-936X
                1520-5851
                June 02 2020
                May 05 2020
                June 02 2020
                : 54
                : 11
                : 6530-6539
                Affiliations
                [1 ]State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
                [2 ]Shanghai Key Laboratory for Urban Ecological Process and Eco-Restoration, School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
                [3 ]School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
                [4 ]Key Lab of Geographic Information Science of the Ministry of Education, School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 210062, China
                Article
                10.1021/acs.est.0c00087
                32369699
                57f0267a-d879-4fd0-9572-9299ac2627c2
                © 2020
                History

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