JULY 2017 RESEARCH UPDATE

Dr. Sally Brown reviews for July 2017 the topic of plastics, She reviews journal articles that cover the presence of plastics in wastewater and biosolids and their environmental fate, including soil  The most salient point for me is that, despite their ubiquity in our world, the ultimate fate of plastic is poorly known to science. What we do know is that, over time, plastic fibers, fragments and beads continually reduce in size, making them ingestible to micro fauna, aquatic and terrestrial. The impact of plastics on the viability of these small animals, including worms, is not established.  We should all be looking forward to advances in polymer chemistry that replace recalcitrant oil-based plastics with degradable plant based plastics.  We as environmental stewards ought to advocate for this change. 

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