‘Plasticrust’ Found On Rocks Of Portuguese Island

Made of same plastic as food packaging/plastic bags

via CBS News

If you don’t believe all the talk about plastics filling the oceans, take a trip to Portugal.

On the island of Madeira, scientists have found plastic has fused with the rock. They call it “plasticrust” and say it’s bonded to the beach rock the same way algae does.

Chemical analysis has revealed the crust is made of polyethylene, the material found in plastic bags and food packaging. And the researchers say the polyethylene clinging to the shoreline now covers nearly 10 percent of the rocks’ surface.

Study authors say the potential impact that these new ‘plasticrusts’ may have needs to be explored further. For instance, they say potential ingestion by intertidal organisms could provide a new pathway for the entrance of plastics into marine food webs. (The team found evidence that algae-eating winkle sea snails were equally at home on ‘plasticrust’ as they are on rock – suggesting they might be sucking up plastic as well as algae.

banner image via Ignacio Gestoso Garcia/ScienceDirecty