Microplastics and chemicals used in a range of household goods have found their way to Antarctica’s pristine waters and ice caps, research shows.
Greenpeace says the microplastics, which are commonly used in body washes and toothpaste, and polyfluorinated alkylated substances, like those used in non-stick cookware, were found in samples taken from Antarctica’s waters and snow between January and March this year. The findings have sparked calls from Greenpeace for an Antarctic ocean sanctuary to be set up, so penguins, whales and the continent’s ecosystem can recover from the pollution pressures.
‘‘We may think of the Antarctic as a remote and pristine wilderness, but from pollution and climate change to industrial krill fishing, humanity’s footprint is clear,’’ Greenpeace’s Protect the Antarctic campaign spokeswoman Frida Bengtsson said as the findings were released yesterday.
‘‘Plastic has now been found in all corners of our oceans, from the Antarctic to the Arctic and at the deepest point of the ocean, the Mariana Trench. We need urgent action to reduce the flow of plastic into our seas.’’
The microplastics and potentially hazardous chemicals were detected in samples collected from the sea surface and seabed.
Story from The Shepparton News - “Antarctica pollution shock.”