Plastic pollution is an environmental topic that is getting increased coverage and is emerging on the public, scientific, and political agenda. While plastic pollution is often highly visible, with a gratifying before and after picture of any clean-up operation, microplastics pose a significant threat to the ecosystem and often go unchecked.
A microplastic is defined as a plastic particle that is less than 5mm in length. While this does not seem that small, most microplastics are often much smaller, in the region of 1–1000 μm (microns). Microplastics are found in growing and significant quantities in the ocean, some sources have estimated that there are as many as 50 trillion microplastic particles in the seas.