NCCF holding forum on microplastic pollution Thursday

Small pieces of plastic gathered on a beach fill the bottom of a bag. (Contributed photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — Carteret County residents and others have an opportunity to join the N.C. Coastal Federation for a virtual forum on the issue of microplastic pollution.

The NCCF is teaming up with experts from around the country to host the North Carolina Microplastics Forum from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday. The public is invited to register for this free virtual event to learn about microplastic pollution and how to reduce it.

Microplastics are tiny particles less than 5 millimeters in size, according to the NCCF. They are small, but they are everywhere, including in the seafood we eat and the water we drink. It’s alarming, but the average person ingests about 100,000 pieces of microplastic, or more, per year without knowing it, the NCCF said.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, microplastics come from many sources. Some start out as larger plastic debris that breaks down into smaller pieces of plastics. Since plastic is the leading form of marine debris, a lot of it ends up in the ocean where it degrades into these smaller microplastic particles.

Microplastics also come in the form of microfibers. These are synthetic or processed fibers, such as those released from clothing when it's washed, or shed from plastic tarps, tires, carpets, furniture, fishing line, ropes, nets and cigarette butts.

The impact of microplastic pollution is a major public health and environmental issue, according to the NCCF. Participants in the free event will learn from experts about the sources of microplastics and their impacts on human health and the environment. In addition, speakers will discuss regulatory and legal avenues for addressing microplastic pollution and future actions for reducing and preventing microplastic pollution.

Expert presenters include Bonnie Monteleone, Plastic Ocean Project; Dr. Richard Venditti and Dr. Marielis Zambrano, N.C. State University; Emily Sutton, Haw Riverkeeper; Dr. Susanne Brander, Oregon State University; Dr. Scott Coffin, California State Water Resources Control Board; Sarah Morath, Wake Forest University; Adam Saslow, Kearns & West; Sarah Latshaw, NOAA Marine Debris; Julie Patton Lawson, Washington, D.C. mayor’s office; and Ana Zivanovic-Nenadovic and Todd Miller, NCCF.

A complete agenda and registration information are available at the website nccoast.org/event/north-carolina-coastal-microplastics-forum/.

(6) comments

David Collins

Another virtual thing that I am sure will be a sellout . Nothing new here and what ya gonna do about it ? Most waterborne plastic comes from relatively poor uneducated semi-failed countries around the globe that really do not care . If you have been away from the U S you would know this . They do not care ! Lots of those folks live their lives in trash dumps and it comes naturally .

What ever happened to those chaps on the west coast that were pushing for donations to go out into the Pacific garbage patches and using nets and the like , clean things up ? Anyone know ? Are they vacationing in the south of France ?

mpjeep

Low-density microplastics have also been detected in cow and sheep feces. Better check these guys out also.

David Collins

Once again , just like firearms , it is not the product that is the problem , it is the people’s irresponsible handling of the product . Far easier to ban everything than to educate .

noitall

Cows and sheep? Whatever. In the ocean? Can hardly wait for the saltwater alligators to arrive. And there goes the crystal coast. revenue.

mpjeep

“The impact of microplastic pollution is a major public health and environmental issue” as the story suggests, even for folks that eat something other than seafood was the point....

(Edited by staff.)

David Collins

Oysters , the ultimate filter feeders . Thought the last ones we ate tasted a bit like my old Nintendo Game of years back . Who duh thunk , an old friend revisited .

Seriously , whatcha gonna do about it ? Perhaps build massive water filtration plants worldwide to filter all the oceans down to one micron ? Then there would be mountains of filtered out stuff awaiting responsible disposal , what ever the heck that is . No , as mom used to say , you’ll eat a peck of dirt before you die . Just have to add micro plastics to the menu .

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