Unpicking microplastics

Read the full story at The Naked Scientists.

Recently the issue of microplastics has been in the news – they’re tiny bits of plastic from a few millimeters in diameter to even nanometers, that can be washed away from everyday objects including cosmetics and clothes, or can be from larger pieces of plastic breaking down over time. Because they’re so small, they aren’t easily filtered out by our current sewage systems, meaning they can end up in the sea, and can cause issues in the marine world. Now, scientists from the University of Adelaide in Australia have announced a new catalyst that they hope can speed up the breakdown of microplastics, in an environmentally friendly way. Ankita Anirban spoke to Ljiljana Fruk from the chemical engineering department at Cambridge, who wasn’t involved in the study, and took a look at this paper for us.

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