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

"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

From River Weser to the North Sea

Microplastics

From River Weser to the North Sea

Around the globe, the pollution of rivers, lakes and seas with plastic litter is on the rise. A new project jointly coordinated by the University of Bayreuth and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is the first to approach the problem from a holistic perspective. In the model region Weser – Wadden Sea National Park the participating researchers will use e.g. empirical and model-assisted analyses to discover how minute plastic particles (microplastics) make their way from land to sea, which input and transport routes are involved (and to which extent), and what risks this contamination



Children's Book

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

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