Scientists have even found microplastics in the Arctic

Microplastics are polluting tap water, the deep sea and now even remote corners of the Arctic. Scientists found concentrations of plastic in ice floes from the Fram Strait, the passage that connects the Arctic Ocean to the rest of the world’s oceans.

Their findings, published today in Science Advances, offer further evidence that increased plastic production is impacting the environment in new, unforeseen ways.

The study was lead by Dr. Melanie Bergmann of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. Bergmann and a group of scientists analyzed and compared snow samples from the Arctic, the Swiss Alps and certain areas of Germany.

While the level of microplastics they found was was much lower in the Arctic than in more populated regions, it was still substantial. On average, the sample from the ice floes contained 1,760 microplastic particles per liter. Samples from the European regions revealed over 20 times that much.

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