This Plastic Action Centre infographic explains what microplastics are, sources of microplastics, and how they are generated. 

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Sources of Microplastics

How Microplastics are Generated

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  1. Boucher, J. and Friot D. (2017). Primary Microplastics in the Oceans: A Global Evaluation of Sources. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. 43pp. Accessed from:
  2. Wieczorek AM, Morrison L, Croot PL, Allcock AL, MacLoughlin E, Savard O, Brownlow H and Doyle TK (2018) Frequency of Microplastics in Mesopelagic Fishes from the Northwest Atlantic. Front. Mar. Sci. 5:39. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00039
  3. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Marine Debris Division. What are microplastics? Microfibers?. Website: