‘The impostor rocks are missed daily by those walking along the shores as it was revealed that burnt plastic is mimicking the appearance of pebbles and stones.
The “fake” plastic pebbles are being washed up from the sea on a daily basis, and being missed by litter pickers due to their pebble like appearance, NorthWalesLive reports.
“It’s only when you pick them up, and feel how light they are, that you realise they are not stones at all,” said Hilary Rowlands, a founding member of Tywyn Beach Guardians in Gwynedd.
Known as pyroplastics, the “stones” are thought to form when pieces of plastic are melted or burnt and thrown into the sea, where they are slowly weathered grey and smooth as they float on long ocean voyages.
Hilary has also found variants, termed plastiglomerates, which are created when burnt plastic fuses with rock, commonly when people light fires on beaches.
“There’s not a single beach I’ve combed where I haven’t come across them,” she said.
“Sometimes they are covered in oil or impregnated with the toxins that come from burning plastic.
“It’s all dangerous, both to the environment and the marine life.
“The longer-term concern is that they will break down into microplastics and threaten marine food chains.”…’
— via Daily Star