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TORONTO - New scientific research into the effect of microplastics on ocean life suggests that the damage caused by microfibres from plastic-based textiles could have been underestimated.

Assistant Professor Chelsea Rochman, of the University of Toronto, a scientific advisor to the Ocean Conservancy environmental non-profit, and her PhD student Kennedy Bucci undertook a review of existing research into plastic pollution.

The results, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, reveal that while there is plenty of evidence that macroplastics, those greater than 5mm in size, are harmful to marine life, the effects of microplastics, those smaller than 5mm are less clear.

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