First evidence of microplastics in Antarctic snow

7 June 2022

This study confirms the presence of microplastics in Antarctic snow, highlighting the extent of plastic pollution globally. Fresh snow was collected from Ross Island, Antarctica, and subsequent analysis identified an average of 29 microplastic particles per litre of melted snow. The most likely source of these airborne microplastics is local scientific research stations; however, modelling shows their origin could have been up to 6000 km away.

The press release by the University of Canterbury can be found at:
The Scimex (Science Media Exchange) media release can be found at:

First evidence of microplastics in Antarctic snow
Alex R. Aves, Laura E. Revell, Sally Gaw, Helena Ruffell, Alex Schuddeboom, Ngaire E. Wotherspoon, Michelle LaRue, and Adrian J. McDonald
The Cryosphere, 16, 2127–2145,, 2022

Contact: Alex R. Aves (