Microplastics discovered in new Antarctic Snow

Share Us

244
Microplastics discovered in new Antarctic Snow
12 Jun 2022
6 min read

Podcast

News Synopsis

Scientists have for the first time found microplastics in freshly fallen Antarctic snow. Researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand collected samples from 19 sites in Antarctica and each contained tiny plastic fragments. Microplastics stem from the erosion of plastic materials and are smaller than a grain of rice - sometimes even invisible to the naked eye.

The researchers found an average of 29 particles per litre of melted snow. They identified 13 different types of plastics and the most common was polyethylene terephthalate (PET), mostly used in soft-drink bottles and clothing. This was found in 79% of the samples.

Researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand collected samples from 19 sites in Antarctica and each contained tiny plastic fragments. Microplastics stem from the erosion of plastic materials and are smaller than a grain of rice - sometimes even invisible to the naked eye.

"The most likely source of these airborne microplastics is local scientific research stations. However, modelling shows their origin could have been up to 6,000km (3,700 miles) away," researcher Alex Aves wrote in the journal, Cryosphere.

 

You May Like