Jul 30, 2020 7:00 AM
Dr. Maia McGuire, Florida Sea Grant Ext Agent
Microplastics in the Marine Environment

Microplastics are very small pieces of plastic that pollute the environment. Really small! They enter
natural ecosystems from a variety of sources, including cosmetics, clothing and industrial processes.
They degrade slowly, often over hundreds or thousands of years. China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand
and Vietnam dump more plastics in the ocean than all other countries combined. Who knows who
counted all the bits and pieces, but one estimate in 2018 was that 270 thousand tons of microplastics
were in the world’s oceans. In marine environments, microplastics have been found in sandy beaches,
surface waters, the water column and deep sea sediments. This week’s speaker will inform us about the
kinds of microplastics we have in the ocean, why we should care and what we can do about it.