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Flume experiment to uncover the future of marine plastics
Time: 2020-5-9 13:39:13 Source:绿凯思科GETRECYCLING Author:GET营销中心 Hits:28

Most plastics are chemically stable, and microorganisms in soil and water cannot break down these bonds. As one of the most proud inventions of human beings, it not only brings convenience to people, but also causes great pollution to the earth, and the ocean is suffering from it.

It is estimated that millions of metric tons of plastic waste enter the ocean every year, but no one knows where they end up.

In late March, a study from the University of Manchester described the results of flume experiments simulating sediment flow on the seabed. In the experiment, scientists found an underwater avalanche that would push tiny plastic fibers from the shore into the deep sea.

Now, a new study from the same team builds on this knowledge, and then works with other researchers across Europe to explore how ocean currents shape the flow of deep-sea plastic waste.

After collecting sediment samples from the Mediterranean, the team began to analyze them and the currents around them to understand their composition and how they formed. This means that researchers need to separate tiny plastic particles from sediments in the laboratory and use infrared spectroscopy to identify different types of plastics.

In the process, the team collected a total of 1.9 million pieces of plastic debris, the highest concentration ever recorded on the sea floor, and the result of the current gathering them in some places.

This research shows that there are more marine plastics than people think, and marine micro plastics are mainly composed of fibers in textiles and clothes. These can not be effectively filtered out in the domestic waste water treatment plant, which makes it easier to enter rivers and oceans.

In the ocean, they either settle slowly, or they can be transported rapidly by intermittent turbid flows (powerful underwater avalanches), which flow through submarine canyons to the deep seabed.

It is worrying that the concentration of deep-sea microplastics has reached a new high, especially that their impact on the environment and human health is still basically unknown, so potential problems should not be underestimated.

"Unfortunately, plastic has become a new type of sediment particle, which is distributed on the seafloor along with sand, mud and nutrients," said Florian Pohl, Ph.D., of Durham University who participated in the study. Therefore, our study shows that sediment transport processes, such as ocean currents, concentrate plastic particles in certain locations on the seafloor. "



The physical and chemical damage caused by microplastics to marine or freshwater system will undoubtedly directly and indirectly affect the survival and development of human beings. The increase of plastics in marine organisms, in turn, affects human beings. The most direct impact is the increase of infertility. To protect the marine environment and keep the micro plastic waste away from the sea, human action is urgent.

The outbreak of the beginning of the year has spread all over the world, affecting all aspects of society and economy. However, the origin and source of the virus have not yet been determined. However, in recent years, there have been frequent natural disasters, from Australian wildfires to African locusts, from Indonesian floods to volcanic eruptions in the Philippines, which have sounded alarm bells for us.

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