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Global Monitoring of POPs using Beached Plastic Resin Pellets.

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What’s International Pellet Watch (IPW)

Global monitoring of POPs by using beached plastic resin pellets.

IPW is a volunteer-based global monitoring program designed to monitor the pollution status of the oceans. Since its launch in 2005, ~ 80 groups and individuals from ~ 50 countries have been participating in this project to cover ~ 200 locations around the world. We focus on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as PCBs and organochlorine pesticides. Because of their bioaccumulative nature and adverse effects on marine organisms and humans, POPs are regulated by an international treaty (i.e., Stockholm Convention).

Plastic Pollution.

IPW is based on the fact that POPs are accumulated in resin pellets (plastic raw material) from the surrounding seawater by a factor of millions. Similar accumulation occurs with broken plastic fragments in the ocean. Pellets are surrogates for all marine plastics. IPW reveals the magnitude and spatial variability of POPs in marine plastics for risk assessment. IPW has demonstrated that marine plastics transport POPs in marine environments, even to remote areas. Studies related to IPW also demonstrated the transfer of POPs from ingested plastics to the tissues of biota that mistakenly consume marine plastics.

Call for pellets!

Our areal coverage is still limited. IPW is still going on. If you would send pellets from your near-by beaches, it would be great for saving our planet.


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Mailing address:

Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Prof. Hideshige
Takada, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology,
Fuchu, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan

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