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Addlestone Library is accessible only to College of Charleston students, faculty, and staff, Friends of the Library, or those with appointments for services offered in the library. NEW Cougar Cards, FOL cards, or appointment emails are required for entry. Face coverings and social distancing are also required. Virtual services for all College Libraries continue to be available at

FYSE 117: Swimming in Plastic Soup: Home

This guide provides information, tools, and resources for investigating the role and consequences of plastic in our lives and environment.

What's in your tapwater, seafood, ocean? Microplastic debris

"Microplastics..." by Wolfram Burner, used under CC BY-NC 2.0 / Cropped and text added

Trash Talk (Video by NOAA National Ocean Service)

Background reading

NOAA Marine Debris Blog

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All shapes, colors, and sizes

Macroplastics range in sizes from cigarette butts, bottle caps, and straws to buoys, plastic crates, and inflatable water toys.

Plastic bottles on beach
"Marine litter..." by Bo Eide is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Microplastics are less than 5mm in length. Plastics smaller than a few microns have been coined Nanoplastics.
Microplastic by Florida Sea Grant is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Nurdles are plastic pellets used to create plastic products.
"NoPetroPA-plastic-nurdles..." by Mark Dixon is licensed under CC0 1.0


Modern fishing nets are typically plastic (nylon).
Seal entangled in fishing net
"Seal entangled in fishing net" by NOAA Marine Debris Program is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Librarian for Marine Resources

Geoff Timms's picture
Geoff Timms

I look forward to helping you with your research needs. Please contact me or make an appointment!

Geoff's Scholarship

Marine Resources Library, Fort Johnson