Click on a map location to see how many pieces of plastic we found in each sample:
Help us study the sources, composition and distribution of microplastics pollution
while you paddle, sail, surf, swim or hike. In 2016-2017 we are focusing on freshwater around the world, and on the Indian Ocean for marine samples. If your next adventure takes you to an alpine lake, a remote river, or Madagascar we need your outdoor skills and water samples!
Microplastics—or plastic particles smaller than five millimeters in size—likely pose a massive environmental and human health risk when they enter our waterways.
Pollutants including PCBs and triclosan can adhere to the particles and then bioaccumulate in aquatic life. Microplastics have been shown to affect feeding behavior and predator avoidance and to interact with other pollutants, like antibiotics, to affect cell function in fish. They’re also able to move from the digestive tract of organisms into the bloodstream.
Microplastics have several sources: They're laundered from nylon clothing; they wash down the drain with many cosmetics and toothpastes; and they weather from debris like bottles and bags.
Adventure Scientists has found microplastics in the vast majority of marine samples we've collected, from places including Maine, Alaska, Argentina, Thailand and Antarctica. We expanded our research to fresh water in early 2015 to further identify the inputs of this pollution.
Our goal is to compile a comprehensive microplastics dataset and use that information to effect change, turning off the inputs of microplastics pollution at their source. Join us