According to a research, plastics has now turned up Camouflaged as ordinary pebbles. These small chunks of pyroplastics are created when plastic is heated as part of the manufacturing process, or when pieces of plastic are melted by unknown processes in the environment.
The researchers noted to “plastiglomerates” found in Hawaii, chunks of plastic mixed with sand and shells, melted together by campfires. The pyroplastics were almost pure plastic.
“Pyroplastics are evidently formed from melting or burning of plastic and are distinctly different from manufactured marine plastics in terms of origin, appearance and thickness.”
The team subjected the samples to tests to find out what they’re made and revealed that the samples were mostly either polyethylene and polypropylene or a combination of both.
But it was X-ray fluorescence analysis that revealed the presence of lead – often accompanied by chromium. This implies the presence of lead chromate, a compound that can be mixed with plastic to give it a yellow, red, or orange hue.
More research should be conducted in order to determine how much of this camouflaged plastic is hiding in plain sight, the researchers said. Only then can we accurately gauge how much microplastic and dangerous compounds they’re releasing into the environment.
“Pyroplastics require their own classification within the umbrella of marine litter, and are a source of finer plastic particulates through mechanical breakdown and a potential source of contaminants for organisms that inhabit or ingest them.”