Plastic Ocean

You might not believe that your weekly laundry is contributing to ocean pollution, but researchers are finding that it does. The synthetic fibres that washing removes from your shirts and jeans are too small to be trapped by treatment plants, and eventually end in the sea. So do the microscopic particles in your facial scrub. Here, they join a mass of other tiny plastic fragments that scientists say are poisoning life in the oceans. It’s only in the last few years that the extent of ‘microplastic’ pollution has become apparent, but some scientists are already calling large parts of the oceans ‘plastic soup’.

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