Increasing abundance of microplastics (MP) in marine and freshwaters is currently one of the greatest environmental concerns. Since plastics are fairly resistant to chemical decomposition, breakdown and reutilization of MP carbon complexes requires microbial activity. Currently, only a few microbial isolates have been shown to degrade MPs, and direct measurements of the fate of the MP carbon are still lacking. We used compound-specific isotope analysis to track the fate of fully labelled 13C-polyethylene (PE) MP carbon across the aquatic microbial-animal interface. Isotopic values of respired CO2 and membrane lipids showed that MP carbon was partly mineralized and partly used for cell growth. Microbial mineralization and assimilation of PE-MP carbon was most active when inoculated microbes were obtained from highly humic waters, which contain recalcitrant substrate sources. Mixotrophic algae (Cryptomonas sp.) and herbivorous zooplankton (Daphnia magna) used microbial mediated PE-MP carbon in their cell membrane fatty acids. Moreover, heteronanoflagellates and mixotrophic algae sequestered MP carbon for synthesizing essential ω-6 and ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Thus, this study demonstrates that aquatic micro-organisms can produce, biochemically upgrade, and trophically transfer nutritionally important biomolecules from PE-MP.
The paper provides new insights into marine environments and human activities and suggests plastic waste should be controlled through laws that regulate waste sources and plastic additives in order to solve the problem of plastic accumulation in the oceans.
The paper strengthens the evidence that microplastics are present in the studied biota, suggesting that they are transferred between trophic levels through the interconnected food chain/web. The presence of micro plastics in fish guts highlights the need for further research on processing interventions for reducing microplastic contamination.
PPE (face masks and gloves) were surveyed at six Indian beaches. There were 496 PPE counted with an average density of 1.08 × 10−3 PPE m−2. Previous studies found similar PPE density. Face masks accounted for 98.39% of all PPE recorded, while gloves accounted for only 1.61%. As a result of the increase in vaccination[…]
The research seeks to depict and reduce marine plastic pollution in India. A GIS map has been created to show plastic input from different river basins. In order to address the challenges of marine litter in India, a guiding model has been developed. According to the predictive model, India produces 536 thousand tons of municipal[…]
Plastic research, policies, waste management, socioeconomics, challenges, and opportunities are discussed. Marine plastic studies have focused on a few locations, providing information on distribution and interactions with organisms. In addition to scientific investigation, enforcement, improvisation, and, if necessary, framing new policies, integrated technologies to manage plastic waste are essential.