Here we investigate microplastics and larger plastic debris within beached seagrass remains including balls (aegagropilae) made of natural aggregates of vegetal fibers intertwined by seawater motion. We found up to 1470 plastic items per kg of plant material, which were mainly composed of negatively buoyant polymer filaments and fibers. Our findings show that seagrass meadows promote plastic debris trapping and aggregation with natural lignocellulosic fibers, which are then ejected and escape the coastal ocean. Our results show how seagrasses, one of the key ecosystems on Earth in terms of provision of goods and services, also counteract marine plastic pollution.
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