LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Researchers say they may have identified a new kind of plastic pollution in the sea and they're calling it "plasticrust."

Scientists working in Madeira, a volcanic Portuguese island off northwest Africa, have found small patches of what looks like melted plastic encrusted on rocks along the shoreline.

They first spotted the mostly blue and gray patches of various sizes in 2016. They are now reporting that the area the patches cover has increased substantially since then.

Tests showed the material is polyethylene, the world's most widely used plastic.

The crusts, on a specific part of the shore, are exposed at low tide.

Scientists at Portugal's Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre say they don't know yet where the plastic comes from or how it could affect marine life.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.