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Secondary plastics, on the other hand, account for smaller plastics that have resulted from the degradation of primary plastics.
Nurdles are recycled to make new plastic items, but they easily end up released into the environment during production because of their small size.
These factors contribute to the persistence of plastic debris in certain environments.
Recent studies have shown that plastics in the ocean decompose faster than was once thought, due to exposure to sun, rain, and other environmental conditions, resulting in the release of toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A.
This could potentially increase the variability and dispersal of organisms in specific areas that are less biologically diverse.
Plastics can also be used as vectors for chemical contaminants such as persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals.
In the UK alone, more than 5 million tonnes of plastic are consumed each year, of which an estimated mere 24% makes it into recycling systems.
However, due to the increased volume of plastics in the ocean, decomposition is slowed down.
The Marine Conservancy has predicted the decomposition rates of several plastic products.
This can cause serious harm to the species that drink the water.
Landfill areas contain many different types of plastics.