Dying for microplastics

Microplastics despite their utility in a wide range of applications are of growing environmental concern. Now, researchers in the UK have developed a dye that could be used to reveal the presence of 99% percent of hidden microplastic particles in the world's oceans. Preliminary work on the dye which bonds preferentially to polymers shows that the majority of microplastic particles found in the samples from UK shores are composed of polypropylene. This polymer is widely used in packaging and food containers, which the scientists suggests demonstrates just how our consumerism is affecting the oceans directly.