The Norwegian Polar Institute presented a new survey on plastic in the sea ice of the northern sea on Monday. The researchers say the results are disturbing.
In addition to the fact that there are plastics’ and waste disposal on most beaches around Svalbard, there were also plastics in the deep sea between Greenland and Svalbard, reported NRK news. It was also found at the bottom of the Barents Sea.
According to Norwegian Polar Institute researchers, there are approximately 194 waste objects per square kilometre. The total weight is estimated to be 79,000 tons, most of which is plastic.
‘It’s the small particles, less than one millimetre, that concern us the most. Scientists know very little what plastic of this size does to birds and animals’,said Ingeborg Hallanger to the state news channel.
She pointed out that plastic is not broken down in nature, but fragmented into micro-plastic. These are plastic pieces of less than 5 millimetres.
Micro-plastic is found in products such as toothpaste, skin lotion, makeup and other hygiene articles, but also, synthetic textiles release large quantities of micro-plastics when washed. These particles are often not caught in sewage treatment plants, and end up in the oceans.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today