[Graphic News] Tiny plastic particles clogging oceans: report

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Mar 1, 2017 - 18:25
  • Updated : Mar 1, 2017 - 18:25

Invisible particles washed off products like synthetic clothing and car tires account for up to a third of the plastic polluting the oceans, impacting ecosystems and human health, a top conservationist body warned Tuesday.

Unlike the shocking images of country-sized garbage patches floating in the oceans, the microplastic particles that wash off textiles and roadways leave the waterways looking pristine.

But they constitute a significant part of the “plastic soup” clogging our waters -- accounting for between 15 and 31 percent of the estimated 9.5 million tons of plastic released into the oceans each year, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

In its report “Main Microplastics Within the Oceans,” IUCN discovered that in lots of developed nations in North America and Europe, which have efficient waste administration, tiny plastic particles are actually a much bigger supply of marine plastic air pollution than plastic waste.