Researchers from the Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI), the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Graz and a PhD student from the Institute of Physics in Zagreb presented their innovative research, the President’s Office said in a press release.
The results obtained by studying the interactions of microplastic particles with calcium carbonate indicate that the exposure of microplastics to dissolved organic matter present in aquatic ecosystems enhances the incorporation of such modified microplastics into calcium carbonate, which is the main inorganic component of shells, corals and other aquatic organisms.
The Ruđer Bošković Institute researchers underscored that the longer plastic is present in water systems, the more dangerous it becomes, and from the primary form of plastic such as bags or plastic bottles, it is degraded by actions in nature into secondary microplastics, smaller particles that enter organisms.
The research, they said, was done as part of the project “Can we clean the oceans and seas from microplastic by using calcium carbonate encapsulation.”
It was funded by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology, EIT Klima – KIC Alumni Program “Participatory Grantmaking” and a project by the Croatian Science Foundation.
The findings of the research were published, as stated, in the prestigious scientific journal Environmental Chemistry Letters.