Where has all the plastic gone? Microplastics in the River Rhine

Microplastics result from fragmentation of plastic debris or are released to the environment as manufacturer products. In the oceans, they contribute to the ‘great garbage patches’. They are ingested by many organisms, from protozoa to baleen whales, and pose a threat to the aquatic fauna. Although as much as 80% of marine debris originates from land, little attention was given to the role of rivers as debris pathways to the sea.

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