Plastic fibers emerge as Great Lakes pollutant

Capital News Service

LANSING — The Huron River near Ann Arbor had the greatest concentration of microplastic pollution, a recent study of Great Lakes tributaries shows. It also had the most plastic fragments in a study that categorized microplastics beyond the beads in consumer products like body wash identified in earlier studies. The study by Austin Baldwin, a hydrologist at the Wisconsin Water Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), categorized the plastic as beads, fragments, foams or fibers. Fragments are broken pieces of larger plastics, foams are filmy materials like bags and fibers include fishing line, rope and other fine materials. Baldwin’s team sampled 29 Great Lakes tributaries during the spring of 2014 and 2015.