Three top research groups in the United Kingdom — the Natural History Museum, the University of London and the Zoological Society of London — have collaborative research out on the impact of microplastics in the Thames River and its impact on animals, the water, the soil beneath the river and the shoreline, and it isn't good.
For one part of the studies, conducted by postgraduate students Alex McGoran, Katharine Rowley and Katherine McCoy, an examination of 135 crabs and found 874 pieces of microplastic or fiber in or on them.
"About 95 percent of mitten crabs were found to have tangled plastic in the stomach," the Natural History Museum said in a news release. "Although tangles were dominated by fibers, they were found to contain other fragments of microplastics from sanitary pads, balloons, elastic bands and carrier bags."
Another study on microplastics found in the water said while some bits came from glitter or microbeads, a total of 93.5 percent of plastics came from larger items that broke down into smaller parts.
As Karen Laird, editor of our sister paper Sustainable Plastics, writes: "While each of the three each studied a separate aspect, taken together, the findings were grim."