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Water: Marine Debris

Plastic Pellets in the Aquatic Environment

This study of plastic pellets in aquatic environments is a comprehensive look at the sources, fate and effect of pellets in the aquatic environment. The study also recommends actions to control or prevent future release of pellets to the aquatic environment.

Plastic pellets are small resin spheres that can be melted and molded to creat plastic products. These raw materials are often transported long distances from the manufacturer to the processors. Along the way they may be spilled or dumped, allowing the pellets to enter the environment to be distributed by rainwater and drainage systems into aquatic environments. The water pellets may float, remain in suspension, or sink to the bottom. In the environment they may be ingested by organisms; the toxic effect of ingestion is unknown.


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