Fighting Microplastics ~ PerkinElmer and UK-Based eXXpedition Research Team Collaborate on Ocean Pollution
Jul 15 2020
Each year up to 8 mmt of plastic ends up in our oceans. A concern for our seas, organisms who ingest microplastics and for us as seafood enters our global food chain.
To help understand the issue and how to develop effective solutions, eXXpedition, an all-women research team, set sail last October with PerkinElmer’s environmental testing and analysis solutions aboard. From the Azores and Antigua … to the Galapagos and Tahiti, the eXXpedition crew collected and analysed microplastic samples.
“On-board we have the PerkinElmer Spectrum Two FTIR spectrometer and the Spectrum 10 software which allows us to determine and classify microplastic samples gathered” said Dr. Winnie Courtene-Jones, eXXpedition Science Lead, University of Plymouth. “A key finding was the prevalence of polyethylene in surface water samples – a plastic widely used in food packaging, bottles, films and plastic bags.”
With COVID-19 making continued travel impossible, the eXXpedition team is back on dry land for now but continues to leverage PerkinElmer’s technologies to conduct ongoing research at the University of Plymouth; and has launched a Year of Virtual Impact online to keep the learnings, data sharing and conversation going strong.
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