Policy analysis by Erica McCoy, Joey Tran, Stephanie Lew.
Microplastics are small particles of plastic that are typically smaller than 5mm and are often consumed by sea creatures, which leads to harmful outcomes. A 2015 study done by the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) and the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (RMP) has shown that the San Francisco Bay has been polluted by microplastics. They often enter the Bay waters from wastewater treatment plants around the Bay Area as these micropollutants are so small. Consumerism is also a huge contributor to microplastic pollution with single use plastic objects such as water bottles and plastic bags. A common form of microplastics is microfibers which comes from clothing, and these microfibers also make up a majority of the particles found in the San Francisco Bay. The SFEI and RMP continue to monitor the San Francisco Bay’s plastic pollution to gather information in order to inform those in management levels of the city and state.
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