Raising the Bar: What We Don’t Know About Plastic Pollution
Raising the Bar is back for a third round. The University of Auckland is proud to once again host this unique event in which our academics give free public lectures in pubs and bars.
Join Julie Hope for A Tip of the Iceberg: what we don’t know about plastic.
Nearly 13 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into our marine environment each year and even remote Antarctic waters can’t escape it.
A large portion of this pollution is from microplastics, plastic particles measuring less than five millimetres.
Even more chilling is the fact that we know relatively little about the ecological effects of microplastics. While ingestion of plastic particles is a known problem for larger organisms, what about the primary producers that are the foundation of our marine ecosystems?
Such organisms, like microalgae and cyanobacteria, are essential for carbon cycling and keeping our marine systems healthy and productive.
So what happens if they can’t do their job?
Join Julie as she discusses the impact of microplastics on essential ecological processes and ponders how to change our society’s relationship with plastic.