The BRACE Water Centre is hosting Dr. Jennifer Provencher as she presents "Plastic pollution as an emerging environmental contaminant: our current understanding of the problem, and future planning for research and monitoring to inform emerging national and international policies."
Plastic pollution is now a pervasive global pollutant. The fate and effects of plastic pollution is largely unknown, and many of Canada’s ecosystems are impacted by plastics pollution from both local and distant sources of plastic pollution. In the environment, plastic pollution represents a complex set of pollutants including physical plastic pieces made from a diverse of polymers. Plastic pieces can range from mega-plastics such as abandoned-lost-discarded fishing gear, down to microplastics that can be ingested by species, and nanoplastics that can penetrate the organs of animals.
In the Arctic, while the longest and richest data from over 17 years of ingested plastic data from seabirds, studies have now examined ingested plastics in dozens of species, including invertebrates, fish, seals, walrus, polar bears and whales. Plastic also have a chemical contaminant component, with plastic additives known to be toxic to biota. More recent work has explored how invertebrates can change and later plastic pollution, and potentially impact how it move through terrestrial ecosystems. It is within the context of the global need for monitoring of plastic pollution that we must consider indicators to support policy decisions, and model systems to further research questions on effects. This includes ongoing discussions on plastic pollution monitoring at the UN, Arctic Council, PICES, as well as many other international organizations. This talk will review the state of knowledge of plastic pollution and additives in the Canadian Arctic, and discuss how future sampling will help expand our understanding of plastic pollution.
Register at: https://mcgill.ca/x/3fd