Additives used in manufacturing accelerate breakdown
Researchers supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation studied how components in plastic bags decompose during exposure to sunlight while in water. Their findings are published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Once plastic pollution gets into the environment, its fate is still largely unknown, especially in aquatic ecosystems. Some plastic items, such as polyethylene shopping bags, float in water, which exposes them directly to the sun's rays.