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Marine Microplastics

The many lifetimes of plastics

plastics by the numbers

Infographics strive to give us a sense of how long plastic goods will last in the environment. But is this information reliable? The findings of a new study from WHOI may surprise you.

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Plastics’ impact on oceans under scrutiny

Cape Cod Times

“We have an opportunity now, where there is public awareness,” said Mark Hahn, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “They (plastics) don’t belong there (in the ocean).”

Microplastics research needs innovation, health focus

Environmental Factor

“Studying microplastics is hard because [they are] not a single contaminant like lead or a uniform contaminant like PCBs [polychlorinated biphenyls],” said NIEHS grantee Mark Hahn, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “It is a diverse and complex mixture of materials.”

Microplastics in the Ocean: Emergency or Exaggeration (event recording)

October 15, 2019 – Watch this recorded public event entitled Microplastics in the Ocean: Emergency of Exaggeration? with a keynote presentation by Dr. Kara Lavender Law on the science of ocean plastic pollution and laying the foundation for solutions.

Dr. Law is a faculty member at Sea Education Association, where she studies the distribution of plastic marine debris driven by ocean physics and the degradation and ultimate fate of plastics in the ocean.

Keynote presentation is followed by a panel discussion on the international perspectives on marine microplastics research moderated by Dr. Heather Goldstone, host of Living Lab, WCAI, Cape & Islands NPR. Panelists include:

Dr. Chelsea Rochman
University of Toronto, Canada

Dr. Hauke Kite-Powell
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, U.S.A.

Dr. Gunnar Gerdts
Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany

Dr. Hideshige Takada
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan

Dr. Collin Ward
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, U.S.A.

Sponsored by the Elisabeth W. and Henry A. Morss, Jr., Colloquia Endowed Fund

Learn more about marine microplastics here:

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Microplastics Found In The Ocean And In Human Poop


Where are the sources of these microplastics? Well, as a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution video explains, some of the microplastics may be coming from larger plastic objects such as bottles and other households goods being ground up by the elements.

Particles on the Move

Particles on the Move

An MIT-WHOI Joint Program student investigates what happens to nanoplastics once they’re ingested by fish.

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Marine Microplastics


What are marine microplastics? Marine microplastics are small fragments of plastic debris that are less than five millimeters long. Some…

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Junk Food

Junk Food

An estimated eight million tons of plastics enter our oceans each year, yet only one percent can be seen floating…

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