Microplastics are extremely small pieces of plastic debris less than 5 millimeters long in the environment.
These microplastics are difficult to dispose of properly because of their size. And they are harmful to aquatic life and the oceans.
According to the Plan Plastic Project, they found out that 5kgs of mussels had the capacity to remove a quarter of a million microplastics from that moving water in just one hour.
Researchers and environmentalists have for a very long 1time been worried about the excess production of plastic and the one that goes into the oceans in the form of microplastics. Mollusks could be just the solution for this long standing problem. They could help us clean up large amounts of water on the oceans.
Prof. Pennie Lindeque, Head of Science at Marine Ecology and Biodiversity was looking for a nature based solution to reduce microplastics with the help of mussels . And so they designed a flow tank to see whether microplastics could be filtered out of moving water through mussels. They found out that 5kgs of mussels had the capacity to remove a quarter of a million microplastics from that moving water in just one hour.
After this flume tank experiment they focused on three different mathematical models to learn how microplastics are transported out of rivers and oceans, how they could be captured and processed by the mussels and that would impact the ability of mussels to grow and thrive. And it was found that mussels can filter out microplastics without harming themselves.