Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Tucson

Beach Junk: Microplastics Found in Brand-New Sand

Maarten Bell/Shutterstock.com

A Hawaiian beach that was formed by lava from the erupting Kilauea volcano in 2018 is already littered with invisible pieces of tiny plastic. The black sand beach named Pohoiki, which stretches for 1,000 feet on Hawaii’s Big Island, was created from shards of hot lava coming in contact with seawater, and looks pristine. Nic Vanderzyl, a University of Hawaii at Hilo student, saw the new beach as an opportunity to study sediment that was perhaps untouched by human influence, and discovered 21 bits of microplastics per 50 grams of sand on average.

The microplastics were smaller than five millimeters and rarely larger than a grain of sand. Most of them, he says, were microfibers, the hair-thin threads shed from common synthetic textiles like polyester and nylon. This invisible plastic has washed ashore on some of the world’s most remote beaches, uninhabited by humans. It’s still unclear how it will affect marine ecosystems, but scientists think it may have dangerous consequences for wildlife and human health.
Coming in February
For more information about our upcoming issue contact [email protected]
Due Date: The 10th of the month. Be a part of one of our upcoming issues. Contact [email protected] for cheerful and efficient help with your marketing!
Join Our Email Newsletter

 

Missed the print deadline? Try email news!

Email News Exclusives with Social Media pushes; ask us about it today! [email protected]

Visit Us on Facebook
’Tis the Season to Save the Planet: Eco-Friendly Holiday Ideas
Nap Less for Heart Health
Scientists Confront Academic Racism
Aerobic Exercises Improve Fatty Liver Condition