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Government launches microplastics research to protect oceans - 4/5/18

A new research project analysing the impact of tyres and clothing on the marine environment has been launched by the Government.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey has pledged £200,000 for scientists at the University of Plymouth to explore how tiny plastic particles from tyres, synthetic materials like polyester, and fishing gear – such as nets, ropes and lines – enter our waterways and oceans, and the impact they have on marine life.

Following the government’s ban on microbeads, which is one of the toughest in the world, this comprehensive research will be used to improve our scientific understanding of how microplastics from other sources enter the oceans – whether through fibres released into waste water during a washing cycle, or car tyre friction on roads creating a dust of particles that make their way into the seas through sewers.

The 11 month project will build on the research already underway – with some scientists estimating tyres contribute 270,000 tonnes of plastics per year while a single wash load of acrylic clothing could release over 700,000 microfibres into the ocean.

Posted 17/05/2018 11:35

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