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

Heavy threatening of biodiversity by microplastic

Heavy threatening of biodiversity by microplastic

As part of an investigation of the Western Pacific Kuril-Kamchatka Trench, Senckenberg researchers, with the support of AWI scientists and researchers from Goethe University Frankfurt, have proved high levels of microplastic pollution, which is greater than previously assumed. While evaluating the sediment samples, the research team found that each of the 13 samples taken from a depth of up to 9450 meters contained between 215 and 1596 tiny microplastic particles per kilogram. Further information

Micro- and nanoplastic from the atmosphere is polluting the ocean

Mikroplastik in der Atmosphäre

Micro- and nanoplastic from the atmosphere is polluting the ocean

According to estimates, by 2040 the level of plastic pollution could reach 80 million metric tons per year. Plastic particles have now been detected in virtually all spheres of the environment, e.g. in water bodies, the soil and the air. Via ocean currents and rivers, the tiny plastic particles can even reach the Arctic, Antarctic or ocean depths. A new overview study has now shown that wind, too, can transport these particles great distances – and much faster than water can: in the atmosphere, they can travel from their point of origin to the most remote corners of the planet in a matter of days. In the journal Nature Reviews

Scientists call for cap on production to end plastic pollution

Marine Litter

Scientists call for cap on production to end plastic pollution

An international group of experts says the production of new plastics should be capped to solve the plastic pollution problem. The authors argue that all other measures won’t suffice to keep up with the pace of plastic production and releases. The letter was published in the journal Science.