Plastic waste threatens lakes as well as oceans

Plastice (560 x 315)Pollution with plastic waste is not confined to the oceans but poses a growing threat to lakes as well.
That is the view of researchers who found significant concentrations of the substance in Italy’s Lake Garda.
They say the levels are similar to those found in samples taken from marine beach sediments.
They are concerned that these tiny plastic particles are accumulating in freshwater species and are “likely” to get into the food chain.
The research is published in the journal, Current Biology.
The problem of large amounts of plastic polluting the world’s oceans has been well documented in recent years. As well as bigger pieces that can choke sea creatures when ingested, there is an equally serious issue with very small fragments called micro-plastics.
But research on the problems caused by plastic in lakes has been lacking.
Danger on the shore
This new study looked at Lake Garda, a large, sub-alpine body of water. The researchers found significant concentrations of plastic in sediment samples. On the north shore they found around 1,000 larger particles per square metre and 450 micro-plastic particles in the same area.
“We were surprised,” lead author Prof Christian Laforsch from the University of Bayreuth.


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