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What is the minimum size plastic you can collect? Are you missing the smallest particles?
Question submitted by George Stevens Academy
The plankton nets we use to collect plastic have a mesh size of 333 um (~1/3 mm). Marina Garland has been looking at even smaller microscopic plastics by filtering water samples. The filter traps pieces larger than 0.5 um, and Marina then uses a dissecting microscope with 40X magnification to count them. We also collect additional filtered samples for a lab in Seattle, WA, where new methods are being tested to detect even smaller pieces.