The plastic we release into the sea can act like a sponge for the chemicals that already occur in the sea*.
Plastic Change supports the research into understanding the toxic consequenses of plastic pollution in the sea. Plastics consist of a number of polymeres and a number of chemicals such as softeners (phthalates), sunfilters and fire impeders/inhibitors. In addition to the chemicals following plastics out into the sea the marine environment already contains a large number of difficultly degradable chemicals, such as DDT and PCB. The samples collected by Plastic Change are analyzed to detect if chemicals different from plastic itself stick to its surface.
The theory is that the plastic we release works like a sponge to the chemicals already existing in the sea. In this way micro plastic forms a vehicle for chemicals, potentially making them accessible to marine animals, fish and other organisms, when they eat the plastic in their search for food.*ResearchGate
Collaborating with RUC Plastic Change wishes to elaborate this research and look at micro plastic down to nano size using model studies for research into whether chemicals are transported in the food chains and the effects from this.