Solutions to plastic pollution: what can you do?
One of the principle scientific projects of the Polarquest expedition was its research of microplastic pollution in the ocean. A key element of this research was that it searched for plastic pollution in areas that had never before been researched. Data-collection is now complete and analysis of the samples is underway – however, we are not optimistic about what we will find. During the expedition, we did not have to look hard to find evidence of plastic pollution: we found plastic pieces visible to the naked eye in ocean waters as far as the edge of the North Pole ice-shelf, over 82 degrees Latitude North!
While countries around the world are now beginning to take action to limit plastic use, the oceans cannot wait for top-bottom solutions to fix this problem. The time to act is NOW!
Support our new micro-project: Biostraw4planet
Polarquest selected a great project to support to help solve this crisis: Biostraw4planet. Straws are the perfect example of a disposable single-use plastic object which takes minutes to produce, less than a few seconds to consume and hundred years to dispose. These straws enter our oceans, becoming microplastics consumed by animals big and small. Biostraw4planet aims to replace plastic straws in the island of Rodrigues with biodegradable bamboo straws.
Check for microplastics using your smartphone!
More and more cosmetics contain microbeads, tiny plastic beads. These microplastics are a hazard to our environment. It can be hard to determine if a product contains these microbeads. The North Sea Foundation (Stichting de Noordzee) and the Plastic Soup Foundation have developed an app to easily check if a product contains microbeads. The app is called “Beat the Microbead” and allows you to check if a product contains microbeads by just scanning the barcode with your smartphone camera.