Science Alert:  The world’s oceans
are awash with millions of tiny plastic Lego pieces, and these toys-turned-pollutants are not going anywhere anytime soon.
 New research has found those classic Lego bricks take between 100 and 1,300 years to fully disintegrate at sea, depending on variations in the plastic’s composition and the marine weathering it experiences.
 In 1997, nearly 5 million bits of Lego on a container ship fell overboard. Estimates also predict that over 2 million blocks have been flushed down the toilet by children, and depending on how effective waste treatment was at the time, an unknown proportion of those flushed in the 70s and 80s may be bobbing around in the waves, too.
 In the past decade, voluntary organisations like the LEGO Lost at Sea Project have recovered thousands of plastic pieces from our beaches, but if these toys are really as sturdy as the new research suggests, we’ve got our work cut out for us.
In all likelihood, these tiny little blocks will keep coming in waves for centuries to come.
“Lego is one of the most popular children’s toys in history and part of its appeal has always been its durability,” says Andrew Turner from the University of Plymouth, who studies the chemical properties of marine litter.