Tests by Greenpeace reveal that tiny pieces of plastic and traces of hazardous chemicals have been found within The Antarctic.
Devastatingly, it seems to demonstrate that nowhere on earth can escape from the pollutants with which we abuse our planet.
The tests found that the majority of snow and ice tested by Greenpeace contained microplastics or potentially dangerous chemicals.
Greenpeace wrote in their findings: “PFAS do not occur naturally and should therefore not be found in remote wilderness regions. The fact that PFAS have been found (see footnote 21) in samples from nearly all visited locations taken is a cause for concern, showing that these persistent chemicals are contaminating even the most remote parts of the planet.”
Frida Bengtsson, from Greenpeace’s Protect the Antarctic campaign, said the findings proved that even the most remote areas of the planet are not immune from the impact of pollution.
“We need action at source, to stop these pollutants ending up in the Antarctic in the first place, and we need an Antarctic ocean sanctuary to give space for penguins, whales and the entire ecosystem to recover from the pressures they’re facing,”
Seven out of eight samples of seawater were found to contain at least one tiny piece of plastic.
Furthermore, seven of nine samples of snow were also found to have detectable concentrations of persistent chemicals known as PFAs or PFCs, including in freshly-fallen snow.
Plastic can have devastating effects on the environment and the animals that reside within it.
As microplastics are so small, they can often be confused for food by small marine animals such as plankton.
They can then make their way up the food chain, where they can inflict harm on larger animals such as birds, penguins and whales.