Social media and science show how ship's plastic cargo dispersed

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Social media and science show how ship's plastic cargo dispersed

Printer cartridges have been washed off the coast of Northern Norway, Florida, due to a ship's container being lost in the North Atlantic, a new study has done.

It has also resulted in weathering materials to decompose metals that are contaminated with a range of metals such as titanium, iron, and copper.

The spillage is believed to have occurred approximately 1,500 km east of January 2014, with the first beach cartridge reported along the coast of the Azores in September of the same year.

Since then, more than 1,500 have been reported on social media, with the largest amount being along the coastline of the UK and Ireland, but also along Cape Verde and north to the shores of the Arctic Circle.

The study was conducted by the University of Plymouth and the Lost at Sea Project, who have previously worked together on research suggesting Lego bricks have survived for 1,300 years at sea.

For this new research, they combined data seen by members of the public and oceanographic modeling tools to show how the cartridges reached their resting place.

Some were transported by the Azores and Canary streams around the North Atlantic Gyre, while others were moved north along the North Atlantic and Norwegian streams.

Writing in the journal Environmental Pollution, the researchers say that the first sighting dates suggested cartridges traveling between 6 cm and 13 cm per second on average showed how fast bubbling across the oceans Items can be scattered.

Through microscopic and X-ray fluorescence analysis, they also revealed a high degree of external weathering resulting in the surface of the cartridge becoming chalky and brittle.

This results in the formation of microplastics enriched in titanium, the chemical fouling of internal ink foam by iron oxide, and, in some cases, the presence of an electronic chip containing copper, gold, and brominated compounds.

Significantly, the study's authors point out that the latter presents specialty cartridges as electrical and electronic waste and means that current, conventional regulations are not controlled for lost plastic cargoes at sea.

Associate Professor (Reader) in Environmental Sciences at Plymouth University Lead author Drs. Andrew Turner said: "Cargo spills are not common, but it is estimated that several thousand containers may be lost to the ocean each year. They can cause damage. Seabed but, once broken, may affect their contents, Where they are lost and as shown in this study - much more widely.

This research has shown once again how plastics that are not in contact with nature can break down and form a layer of microplastics in the environment. Became a source. It calls into question the relevance and robustness of current equipment and conventions dealing with plastic waste and its accidental loss at sea. "

Tracey Williams, founder of the Cornwall-based Lost at Sea Project, said: "This study also highlights the potential utility of social media-led citizen science for maritime research. Over the years, members of the public have shown us the amount Has helped. Plastic in our seas and on our beaches. This is something that people care about diligently and are committed to trying to solve. "

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