The body of literature presently available on plastic pollution in the Arctic demonstrates that this emerging contaminant presents a problem also in this remote region.
The title of the publication is «Plastic litter in the European Arctic: What do we know?»
The scientists found that despite an exponential increase in available data on marine plastic debris globally, information on levels and trends of plastic pollution and especially microplastics in the Arctic remains scarce.
The few available peer-reviewed scientific works, however, point to a ubiquitous distribution of plastic particles in all environmental compartments, including sea ice. In the article, they review the current state of knowledge on the sources, distribution, transport pathways and the fate of meso- and microplastics with a focus on the European Arctic and discuss observed and projected impacts on biota and ecosystems.
The publication is an extension of the 2016 Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme – AMAP assessment Chemicals of Emerging Arctic Concern. The work is partly financed by the Fram Centre Flagship «Hazardous substances – effects on ecosystems and human health».