During the 60,000-kilometer journey, microplastics are collected using a special filter system. During the 2nd and 3rd stages of the competition in January, the yachts crossed the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Verde to South Africa, and all 40 water samples analyzed so far have found such pollution.
As expected, its highest concentration was near large cities, as well as in known ocean “garbage sites” formed by ocean currents.
In a similar study 5 years ago, particle concentrations were 18 times lower, which is a serious concern.
The scientists also analyzed their chemical composition and found that the most common is polyethylene, which is used in the production of plastic bags and bottles, as well as other disposable packaging.
The data are unique because they were collected over a short period of time from different regions and provide scientists with a kind of “snapshot” of the situation.
Athletes and scientists alike hope the results will influence companies and governments to better protect our planet.
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