School Email Exchange

What is done with the plastics once they are removed from the sea?

Posted on October 27 2012

Question submitted by Washingtonville High School

Please see the question below submitted by Falmouth Academy for a description of the microplastics collected in the net tows.

When a large floating object such as a buoy is brought aboard, everyone with a project involving macroplastics does the sampling that they need.  Then the rest of the biomass is taken off and the object is washed with bleach, left to dry and stored out of the way wherever we can find room.  These objects will be brought back to land and either properly recycled, disposed of, or saved for museum exhibits.

The first float we retrieved, which we named Oscar and deplay as a "man overboard" for weekly drills, floats just off the Seamans before its capture by our crew.

After biological samples were taken, Oscar was cleaned off and given a bleach bath before being stored out of the way on deck.