In 10 seconds? Researchers have shown that UV radiation can be behind the Missing Plastic Paradox, i.e. the disappearance of some of the waste floating in our oceans. Plastics have low biodegradability, but the team has found that ultraviolet rays can photodegrade plastics in water.
What is the effect of UV light on plastic floating in the sea? In recent studies, researchers found that UV rays break down plastics such as Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS), and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) - typically found on ocean surfaces - into micro or even invisible nano plastic particles that release a variety of degradation products. The degradation products mostly included organic carbon compounds which were measured jointly as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the water and hydrocarbon gases like methane. Other than these, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) were also detected.
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