Summary #1260

Microplastic pollution devastating soil species, study finds

theguardian.com
  • Plastic waste in soil is damaging tiny organisms that are essential for recycling carbon and nitrogen, and for breaking down organic matter into food for bacteria.
  • Researchers left different amounts of plastic waste on four areas for 287 days, then collected samples and counted the species found inside.
  • In the most contaminated area, they found that some species declined by as much as 62%.
  • Bacteria and fungi remained largely unaffected, but study authors warn that the effects of microplastics in soil cascade through the soil food webs.
  • The conclusion of the study is that plastic use should be reduced, and burying plastic waste in soil should be avoided.

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