The stones on the island of Madeira were covered with a plastic crust. It is spreading rapidly - and already occupies 10% of the coastal cliffs!

Every year, 8 million tons of plastic is released into the oceans, and this figure is constantly growing. Plastic negative

affects not only large mammals (whales) and fish, but also the bacteria Prochlorococcus, which are responsible for the production of up to 10% of all oxygen in the atmosphere.

Now scientists have discovered another consequenceocean pollution with plastic. For the first time, they noticed strange plastic crusts on the coastal cliffs of volcanic islands in 2016. The coating penetrated deep into the stone and survived when the scientists returned to examine it a year later.

In early 2019, researchers noticed thatplastic crust has spread - now it covers 10% of all coastal cliffs on Madeira. Chemical analysis of the material showed that the crust consists entirely of polyethylene.

Corky probably arose as a result of the collision of large pieces of plastic with a rocky shore, resulting in plastic stuck on the rocks - by analogy with how algae and lichens do.

Ignacio Gestoso, MARE

Previously researchers from the University of Victoriathey calculated that on average, each person eats, inhales, and drinks up to 210 thousand microplastic particles per year. Particles enter the body mainly from fresh water, air, as well as fish and seafood.