Plastic pollution plagues Raritan, Passaic rivers

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Passaic River, Newark, New Jersey

TODD BATES / MYCENTRALJERSEY.COM – Generations of Rutgers students and alumni have sung lovingly about the “Banks of the Old Raritan,” but the 90-mile-long waterway is awash in microplastic pollutants, a problem that plagues many freshwaters in New Jersey.

In a recent study, researchers from Rutgers University–New Brunswick and other institutions found high levels of tiny pieces of plastic – often fragments from bigger items – in the Raritan and Passaic rivers. They later identified more than 300 organic chemical compounds that appeared to be associated with microplastic particles in the two rivers. Plastics and water in the Passaic River had the highest number of compounds (299), followed by the Raritan River (255) and Raritan and Newark bays (81) …

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