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Knowledge gaps on trends in Arctic plastic pollution

Claudia Halsband (Akvaplan-niva) and Dorte Herzke (Norwegian Institute for Air Research NILU) has recently published an article in the journal Emerging Contaminants. The title of the publication is “Plastic litter in the European Arctic: What do we know?” They find 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 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 AMAP assessment Chemicals of Emerging Arctic Concern. See link to the article in Emerging Contaminants and the AMAP report below. The work if partly financed by the Fram Centre Flagship “”Hazardous substances – effects on ecosystems and human health”.