Photodegradation of Oceanic Plastics Devyn Pon, Benji Persons, Anthony Saadeh
May 12, 2022
Less carbon dioxide absorption, reduction of phytoplankton population, organismal absorption and ingestion of microplastics, human health concerns: all directly tied to oceanic microplastics. The most common types of commonly used plastics are polystyrene, polypropylene and polyethylene. High concentrations of these types of plastics were tested individually in oceanic conditions and under an ultraviolet light for five weeks. It was found that polypropylene and polyethylene degraded at a much quicker rate compared to polystyrene. In addition, polypropylene degraded at an initial rate of almost twice that of polyethylene, and polyethylene degraded at a constant rate.