We know there’s micro-plastics in the ocean – and giant garbage patches. But we thought they stayed there. It’s been studied how micro-plastics travel from our washing machines and sinks to corrupting seafloor ecosystems in seafloor sediment.
A new study published in the journal PLoS One, found that hundreds of thousands of tonnes of micro-plastics could be blowing ashore on the sea breeze every year. Micro-plastics, mixed with the usual salt, bacteria, viruses, and anything else that hitches a ride to the surface is aerosolized by anything from crashing waves to bubbles.
This new finding shows another complex and problematic part of the micro-plastic lifecycle that has implications not only in the sea air, but also on our atmosphere.