Some may argue that such research is pointless because pollution goes hand in hand with civilization or that we will never be able to clean up what is already out there. I disagree. Understanding how organisms are affected may give valuable insights into how pollution is and will alter the food chain. The article mentions "accumulation of toxins", this is bioaccumulation of not only different sizes and types of microplastics, it is also the bioaccumulation of the plasticizers that leach out as these microplastics degrade in a particular environment over time. Then some of these organisms are eaten by others which results in bioamplification of whatever toxins linger - mainly in fatty tissues. These organisms migrate and here you and I sit at the top of the food chain ready to devour what we assume is safe to eat. Some of the plasticizers - such as bisphenol-A (synthetic estrogen used to harden plastics) and phthalates (used to soften plastics) are well known endocrine disruptors; i.e. they mimic hormones which can alter development of offspring. Wouldn't such biological activity of these contaminants be worth studying - say in the realm of genetics - specifically epigenetics?
Food for though. Do a load of laundry that is all 100% cotton and you end up with quite a few cotton fibers in the dryer's lint filter. Do a similar size load of clothing containing synthetic fibers and notice there is far less in the lint filter and that the fibers are considerably smaller. Do another load of synthetics and filter out all of the water drained from the washing machine and take a look at what wind up in a settling pond (unless there is a storm surge that overloads the sewage system) and eventually to the ocean.
Not only are the toxins from microplastics a concern, but so are the fibers themselves which can block gills and also act as substrates for organisms from one environment to flourish upon, be transported upon and potentially become an invasive species in another environment resulting in loss of resources for the fishing industry rippling through the global economy.