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Microplastics 'Pose Toxic Threat to Marine Biodiversity'

An Article published by BBC News highlights the connection between marine plastic pollution and it's potentially deleterious effect on worms nicknamed the "eco-engineers". The burrows produced by the lugworms can change the entire assemblage of animals in the surrounding ecosystem. The findings of the study thus show a considerable danger to the entire ecosystem.

"Tiny particles of waste plastic that are ingested by shoreline 'eco-engineer' worms may be negatively affecting biodiversity, a study says.

So-called microplastics may be able to transfer toxic pollutants and chemicals into the guts of lugworms, reducing the animals' functions.

An estimated 150 million tonnes vanishes from the global waste-stream each year.

The findings have been published in the academic journal Current Biology.

'We are losing a large volume of plastic and we know it is going into the environment and the assumption being made by policymakers is that this material is non-hazardous, it has got the same ranking as scraps of food,' explained co-author Mark Browne, an ecologist from the US-based National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis."

Read the full article and see more of BBC News: Science and Environment here.


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