We are so glad you found us!
You are welcome to follow our work in Thailand with marine, endangered animals and marine awareness. Here you can read our newest blog posts about what we have been up to.
In December, Anu, Ella and me headed to Phuket, Thailand to sample the beaches for microplastics, those tiny little plastic particles found in the sand. We came back with 57 samples in our suitcases, luckily already extracted from the sand - otherwise we would have had heavy suitcases! So now the works continues in the lab where we try to find out what material the particles consist of. In this way we hope to get a better understanding about how the plastic ends up in the marine ecosystems.
Ella taking the necessary precautions before handling the strong acid.
Before we can analyse the microscopic particles further we have to clean them from bacteria and algae. This is done by oxidising them in a strong solution of hydrogen peroxide for a week. We did not find as many microplastic particles in our samples as we expected. This was both good news, but also a bit alarming given the fact that almost all of the beaches we sampled were covered with bottles, plastic bags, washed up flip flops and other plastic debris. Surely, if they do not end up as microparticles in the sand, they end up somewhere else. The question is where. Some research has found large amounts of microplastics in the deep trenches of the sea. Maybe we have to keep on searching still!
This is something we found in one of the samples. Can you guess what it is?
The contributors to this blog are the marine biologists Maria Koivisto (left) and Anu Riihimäki (right).