Antarctic Waste Management

Greenpeace finds Microplastics in the Antarctic

A Greenpeace Report reveals traces of microplastics in the Antarctic.

Seven of the eight sea-surface water samples tested contained microplastic, such as microfibres (at least one microplastic element per 1 litre sample).

In addition, nine samples were taken using a manta trawl and analysed for microplastics. Microplastic fragments were detected in two samples.

The samples were gathered during a three-month Greenpeace expedition to the Antarctic from January to March 2018.

Frida Bengtsson of Greenpeace’s Protect the Antarctic campaign

“These results show that even the most remote habitats of the Antarctic are contaminated with microplastic waste and persistent hazardous chemicals. We need action at source, to stop these pollutants ending up in the Antarctic in the first place, and we need an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary to give space for penguins, whales and the entire ecosystem to recover from the pressures they’re facing.”

“Plastic has now been found in all corners of our oceans, from the Antarctic to the Arctic and at the deepest point of the ocean, the Mariana Trench. We need urgent action to reduce the flow of plastic into our seas and we need large scale marine reserves – like a huge Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary which over 1.6 million people are calling for – to protect marine life and our oceans for future generations.”

Greenpeace report plastics antarctic

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