Assessment of Marine Debris on the Belgian Continental Shelf: occurrence and effects : final report (AS-MADE)
Earth and related Environmental sciences
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Brussels : Federal Science Policy, 2013
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Marine debris is an increasing worldwide problem, due to an ever increasing global plastic production and continuing indecent disposal. This debris is not only aesthetically displeasing, it can adversely affect marine live and even pose a (hygienical) threat to humans. Although this debris is quite variable in type, plastics account for the majority of marine litter: 60-80% of all marine debris is estimated to be plastic. Recently it has been discovered that these large pieces of plastic debris can degrade into smaller pieces: microplastics with dimensions as small as 20µm (and possibly even smaller) have been detected in the water column and sediment worldwide.