Plastic waste in the ocean is now so widespread it is polluting remote ice floes in the Arctic, scientists have discovered. A team from Exeter University discovered blocks of polystyrene in areas hundreds of miles from land which until recently were covered by ice all year round.
Large plastic pieces break down into ‘microplastics’ which are consumed by wildlife and are then passed up the food chain.The expedition was able to go further into the Central Arctic Ocean than any other yacht in history, because of recent reductions in summer ice cover in the Arctic, which is thought to be the result of climate change.
“This is potentially very dangerous for the Arctic’s wildlife. “The Arctic Ocean’s wildlife used to be protected by a layer of sea ice all year round. Now that is melting away, this environment will be exposed to commercial fishing, shipping and industry for the first time in history.
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