February 5, 2024 at 12:22 pm

Scientists Call Plastiglomerate, The Emergence Of Plastic Rocks, An Ecological Disaster In The Making

by Trisha Leigh

We know now that micro and nanoplastics are literally everywhere. They’re in the rain, they’re in our food and water – they’re even in the very first bowel movement that newborns have after their birth.

This latest bombshell, though, has scientists worried all over again.

Man made plastic is showing up in strange new rocks that scientists have discovered in all five inhabited continents.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Aaikevanoord

They say it’s a shocking sign of just how ubiquitous plastic pollution has become.

The study was published in Environmental Science & Technology, and details how rocks made from artificial plastic polymers were found on the shoreline in 11 countries around the globe.

“Our recent study was the first to report the discovery of plastistones in the inland region and the first to report the chemical bonding between plastic and rock.”

The first “plastiglomerate” was found almost 10 years ago in Hawaii.

“Molten plastic, sand grains, clasts from rock, coral, shells, and wood debris were held together after campfire burning on Kamilo Beach, Hawaii, USA. Since then, they have been frequently found on beaches, both on islands and mainland coastlines.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons/PlasticH8r

Study coauthor Deyi Hou, at Tsinghua University in China, spoke about how these “rocks” are formed.

“They can result from waves crashing against intertidal rocks, causing ocean plastic to become physically adhered to the rock surface.”

They believe the chemical binding is caused by sunlight irradiation, which oxidized the plastic. Scientists fear the plastic can lower microbial diversity and shed microplastics, as well.

And we all know where those end up.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/RODRIGO FONSECA

Scientists fear this is one more nail in the coffin for many natural ecosystems around the world.

“Plastiglomerate poses an imminent danger to ocean sustainability, blue economy and overall human health.”

I doubt we’ve seen the extent of the impact of plastics on humans or the world around us.

We’ll probably be even more scared once we do.

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