Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution: Researchers find seagrass can ‘catch and remove plastics’ – CBBC Newsround

neptune-ballsJordi Regas/University of Barcelona/AFP/Getty

These are the Neptune balls which ‘capture’ plastics and then ‘filter’ them out of the sea

Plastic pollution is a big problem for seas and oceans around the world, but now scientists have discovered a “natural mechanism” for catching and removing plastics from the water.

Researchers studied Posidonia oceanica on the coast of Majorca, Spain – it’s a species of seagrass known as Neptune Grass which is only found in the Mediterranean sea.

Their study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that it can form natural ‘Neptune balls’ which essentially filter, trap and then remove plastics from the water.

In 2018 and 2019, they counted the number of plastic particles found in these seaballs which had washed up on four beaches in Majorca – there was plastic debris in half of them.

What are ‘Neptune balls’?

sea-grassJordi Regas/University of Barcelona/AFP/Getty

A ‘prairie’ of Posidonia oceanica seagrass

Neptune Grass grows in dense ‘prairies’ that look a bit like large meadows under the sea.

It’s in these