Plastic Waste – Degradation by Biofilms Studied

The abstract of an article published in the November 2021 Journal of Hazardous Materials Letters https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666911021000265 by researchers with UK Keele University, UK University of Nottingham and UK Nottingham Trent University reports that “… Biofilms – assemblages of bacteria, algae, and fungi – colonise hard surfaces in aquatic environments … here we report on the evolution of algal biofilm assemblages on three plastic polymers (Low Density Polyethylene, Polypropylene, and Polyethylene Terephthalate) over six weeks in the photic and aphotic zones of a freshwater reservoir … Significant differences were found between diatom assemblages on plastics in the photic and aphotic zones, and between diatom assemblages … but total algal photosynthetic pigment concentrations did not vary significantly between polymers in either zone. Scanning Electron Microscopy indicates that degradation of polymer surfaces occurs within six weeks in the aphotic zone, with potential implications for plastic fragmentation and microplastic generation …” #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic #MicroPlastics @KeeleUniversity

Published by Jack Cooper

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