School Email Exchange

Is there another way to gather plastic samples, other than in plankton nets?

Posted on October 26 2012

Question submitted by Falmouth Academy

Noah Citron collects seawater in a bucket.  A known volume will be filtered in order to remove the microplastic, count and remove it.

One way we gather microplastics other than with a plankton net is to get a bucket of water from over the side of the ship and filter it, collecting the plastic on the filter.  This is a way to collect pieces of plastic that are too small for the nets we use because they pass through the mesh.  The method we’ve used to collect large plastic pieces such as buoys is by bringing the Seamans as close as possible to the object and bringing it aboard using the boat hook and a dip net.  Finer mesh dip nets are used by individuals to collect small plastic fragments and objects off the side of the boat.