These may also be referred to as micro-, meso-, and macro debris.
Plastic debris is categorized as either primary or secondary.
Together, these two factors have led to a high prominence of plastic pollution in the environment.
Plastic pollution can afflict land, waterways and oceans.
Depending on their chemical composition, plastics and resins have varying properties related to contaminant absorption and adsorption.
Polymer degradation takes much longer as a result of saline environments and the cooling effect of the sea.
Macrodebris are often found in ocean waters, and can have a serious impact on the native organisms. Even after they have been abandoned, they continue to trap marine organisms and other plastic debris.
Eventually, these abandoned nets become too difficult to remove from the water because they become too heavy, having grown in weight up to 6 tons.
Plastics themselves contribute to approximately 10% of discarded waste.
Many kinds of plastics exist depending on their precursors and the method for their polymerization.