The Arctic is commonly recognized as one of the last pristine environments on Earth. Many assume that the regionís remoteness from human activities would make it unaffected by the many other environmental problems around the world. This is no longer true. The plastic problem is so pervasive that it has managed to make its way to the Arctic, which a recent study has revealed to be a ësinkí for human-made pollutants transported from distant sources.
The presence of microplastics represents a serious human health concern, as approximately 40% of the United Statesí commercial fisheries (by weight) come from the Bering Sea and about 50% of the fish consumed in the European Union comes from the European Arctic1. This problem is not contained to the Arctic: it affects us all. In order to effectively combat this problem, it is essential to have a clear understanding of how microplastics affect human health and wildlife.