Researchers around the globe have been investigating the presence, sources and impacts of microplastics in our ocean waters. Recent work has determined that a great contributor to microplastics is our dirty laundry — fibers from the material are so small that they flow right through traditional filtration systems.

Enterprising organizations are working to develop filtration systems or equipment to contain these minute particles so that they cannot wash out into our wastewater systems and on to the ocean.

Microfibers from polyfleece material have been found in most shellfish species here on the Cape (oysters, mussels, clams) and in fish and shellfish around the world. The impacts to humans ingesting plastic in seafood are as yet unknown.

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