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HOW THE ARTIC SEA IS BECOMING A TEMPORAL SINK, AND STARTING TO BECOME THE MEANS OF TRANSPORT OF MICROPLASTICS

20th August 

Claudia Cermerón

 

Microplastics have started to become a known environmental hazard due to the fact that they have started to be found in remote places and regions such as the Polar Regions, being highly concentrated in sea ice. Various micro plastic patterns have started to appear in different areas of the sea. These micro plastics will continue to appear in such remote places as long as we continue to exploit the resources found in the Artic and Polar regions. 

Various organisations have started to become extremely concerned about the release of Micro plastics in the ocean due to the fact that recen reports have been released stating that there has been a considerable increase in the quantity of litter that is being released, hence why these micro plastics are arriving at such remote and secluded regions. Reports state that around 8 million tons of plastic are released into the ocean per year, and then do not disintegrate for about 500 years, they only deteriorate, and by the deterioration, micro plastics are formed. 

Pollution also contributes to the creation of micro plastics, and it has been found that the Artic Sea in recent years has started to become the means of transport for many countries such as Greenland. Despite the population being aware of the damage that is being caused, in the last 2 years, Artic ecosystems have been especially exploited in terms of shipping, fisheries and tourism. 

When plastic degrades as I have mentioned earlier it forms these microplastics, which measure less than 5mm approximately. These microplastics have been protagonists of many article publications, however, no action has been taken yet...and this cannot continue. Microplastics do not only have an effect on the ocean, but they also have an effect to the marine life in the ocean, due to the fact that the animals that live with Micro Plastics end up digesting them, leading to serious health effects. Although the GESAMP ( ) concluded that the number of microplastics that have been located won’t affect marine life or us, that is only in the short term. If we continue to exploit so many resources, we continue to fail in becoming a more eco-friendly community and we do not stop littering plastics near the ocean, I ́m afraid that in just a few months time we will live in a society surrounded by these microplastics, and that we will start digesting them too, leading to bigger health problems. 

There are 17 months to change and save the planet, and one way is not littering plastic that then leads to microplastics leading to bigger consequences. There is still time to change, so do it.