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Microplastics: The Invisible Threat

Not long ago was plastic almost completely absent in the day to day lives of the average American. Now, it has essentially reached ubiquity. Not surprisingly, its proliferation was initially a reflection of the fertility of American economics during the mid twentieth century. A material referred to as Bakelite, first synthesized by a Belgian chemist named Leo Baekeland in 1907, marked the beginning of what has been rightfully coined “The Polymer Age”. (Meikle, J. L. 1997). It was even marketed as “the material of a thousand uses”, and the infinity symbol was its trademark. (Meikle, J. L. 1997).  A newspaper ad for Bakelite in the early 1900’s. Fast forward to today, and the amount of plastic being produced annually stands out at two hundred and forty five million tons. (Andrady, A. L. 2011). One of the main reasons that the…

Australia at the Forefront of Marine Debris

The sea is a mysterious place. Mostly undiscovered, uncharted and unknown territory lies beneath the oceans that we see at the beach each day. Approximately 70 percent of the earth is covered by water. Only 20 percent of that water has been explored. The ocean may seem like a foreign and exotic place, but when…