(Yicai Global) Jan. 11 -- A Chinese scientific expedition team has confirmed that Antarctic seas contain microplastics, Science and Technology Daily quoted the State Oceanic Administration as saying.
The presence of microplastics in inaccessible areas demonstrates that their impact has been far-reaching, said Sun Chengjun, a researcher at the Ecology Center of the First Institute of Oceanography, SOA.
The SOA began monitoring microplastic materials in offshore China in 2016 and started conducting checks in Arctic and oceanic environments last year.
Microplastics, which are pieces of plastic that are less than five millimeters in diameter, mainly come from larger debris. Experts call them the “ocean’s PM2.5.”
About 10 percent of the more than 300 million tons of plastic produced each year enters oceans. Such pollutants can undermine marine ecology for hundreds of years as they are stable and do not degrade easily.
Japan’s Kyushu University and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology unveiled investigation results in 2016, indicating that microplastics have a negative impact on ecosystems and may float in Antarctic waters.