Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 2, 2016
Previous Article Next Article

Marine plastic litter: the unanalyzed nano-fraction

Author affiliations

Abstract

In this work, we present for the first time undeniable evidence of nano-plastic occurrence due to solar light degradation of marine micro-plastics under controlled and environmentally representative conditions. As observed during our recent expedition (Expedition 7th Continent), plastic pollution will be one of the most challenging ecological threats for the next generation. Up to now, all studies have focused on the environmental and the economic impact of millimeter scale plastics. These plastics can be visualized, collected and studied. We are not aware of any studies reporting the possibilities of nano-plastics in marine water. Here, we developed for the first time a new solar reactor equipped with a nanoparticle detector to investigate the possibility of the formation of nano-plastics from millimeter scale plastics. With this system, correlated with electronic microscopy observations, we identified for the first time the presence of plastics at the nanoscale in water due to UV degradation. Based on our observations, large fractal nano-plastic particles (i.e., >100 nm) are produced by UV light after the initial formation of the smallest nano-plastic particles (i.e., <100 nm). These new results show the potential hazards of plastic waste at the nanoscale, which had not been taken into account previously.

Graphical abstract: Marine plastic litter: the unanalyzed nano-fraction

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
07 Jan 2016
Accepted
26 Feb 2016
First published
01 Mar 2016

Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2016,3, 346-350
Article type
Communication

Marine plastic litter: the unanalyzed nano-fraction

J. Gigault, B. Pedrono, B. Maxit and A. Ter Halle, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2016, 3, 346 DOI: 10.1039/C6EN00008H

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements