Gallery

Microplastics: A truly colourful pile

Scientists define microplastics as collection of small and large fragments, pellets, fibers, sheets, and other objects smaller than five millimeters. They come in different shapes and colors - a diversity that it actually breathtaking, as this gallery shows.

The photos are provided by our colleagues from the Chesapeake Bay Program. The images were taken by Will Parson at the laboratory of Dr. Lance Yonkos in the Department of Environmental Science & Technology at the University of Maryland. Find more images on the Chesapeake Bay Program Flickr page.

News

Microplastic drifting down with the snow

Scientific study

Microplastic drifting down with the snow

Over the past several years, microplastic particles have repeatedly been detected in seawater, drinking water, and even in animals. But these minute particles are also transported by the atmosphere and subsequently washed out of the air, especially by snow – this was demonstrated in a study conducted by experts at the Alfred Wegener Institute.

"We need to make fundamental changes"

Marine Litter

"We need to make fundamental changes"

The EU wants to ban single-use, disposable products such as drinking straws and ear swabs, the goal being to reduce the amount of plastic litter in our oceans. We discussed this initiative with two experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) – Dr Melanie Bergmann and Dr Lars Gutow.

AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in arctic sea ice

Microplastic

AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in arctic sea ice

Experts at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), have recently found higher amounts of microplastic in arctic sea ice than ever before. However, the majority of particles were microscopically small. The ice samples from five regions throughout the Arctic Ocean contained up to 12,000 microplastic particles per litre of sea ice. Further, the different types of plastic showed a unique footprint in the ice allowing the researchers to trace them back to possible sources. This involves the massive garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean, while in turn, the high percentage of paint and nylon



Children's Book

The Tale of the Turtle and the Plastic Jellyfish
by Sarah Nelms & Kate Nelms, University of Exeter

Website