Microplastics: a deeper problem than we thought?
There is increasing global concern about the presence of plastic pollution in our oceans. New research from scientists at NIWA and the University of Auckland has identified microplastic particles in marine sediments within the Queen Charlotte Sounds / Tōtaranui, New Zealand. In this pilot study, microplastics were found throughout sediments, up to 50 cm below the seabed. Microplastics were identified in sites near coastal populations and within marine protected areas. Findings showed numerous sizes and shapes of microplastics, indicating they came from multiple sources. The next steps in this research project are to identify the type of plastics and try to establish where they came from.