What are Microplastics?
The definition of microplastics is small plastic particles less than 5 mm, with many microplastics being smaller than 1 mm. They may be small pieces of manufactured plastic (microbeads) used as additives to health and beauty products or plastic pellets that are used as raw material in the industry are unintentionally spread into the environment during transport and production; alternatively they may derive from larger plastic debris that degrades into smaller and smaller pieces.
Testing for Microplastics
Our method is based on the NOAA method detailed in NOS-OR&R-48 which is applicable to materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride and polystyrene defined as microplastics sized between 5 mm to 0.3 mm. The method is applicable to water, beach and bed samples and employs a mixture of filtration methods, chemical oxidation processes and finally inspection under a microscope to confirm the presence of microplastics which are then weighed the quantity determined gravimetrically.