MSSU students study Spring River for microplastics

JOPLIN, Mo. – A couple students at Missouri Southern are studying the Spring River Watershed in Southwest Missouri for microplastics.

Avery Cozens and Tim Peternell are doing the study for their honors project. They collected samples from the watershed and have begun lab work to analyze them. The students say they don’t know what to expect since no such study has ever been done on the watershed.

“Most of the research that has gone into it on coastline and ocean maritime research, said Cozens. “So we’re looking into see where it is in a place like this and Spring River is so landlocked so we can kind of get bring awareness towards this issue that it is a global issue. Not just the coastline issue.”

The students also say initial research does show the presence of microplastics from clothing and microbeads, which are now banned in the U.S. because they don’t decompose.