No Plastic Waste24 Jun 2022

Microplastics found in the vast majority of waters collected by world-renowned yachtsman

Scientists have published the full results of the analysis on seawater samples collected by Jon Sanders on his recent circumnavigation of the globe.

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Jon Sanders arriving back in WA after completing his 11th solo circumnavigation of the world. Photo Credit: Emma Dolzadelli via Minderoo Foundation.

Sander spent 455 days completing his 11th solo circumnavigation of the world, collecting samples at 177 locations along the 46,100km voyage.

Innovative studies on plastic pollution conducted by Minderoo Foundation have revealed that plastic and its waste pose a severe environmental and health risk to humans and wildlife. This latest research strengthens the thinking that the problem facing the world’s oceans is widespread.

The study’s objectives were to generate a comprehensive worldwide snapshot of the distribution of microplastics and to focus on regions of the world’s seas that had not before been examined for microplastics.

At every stop, Sanders filtered 100 litres of ocean water, which was then delivered to Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia, for study. The voyage’s water samples showed an average of 33 particles per cubic metre, comparable with prior investigations of isolated ocean regions.

Welcoming him back from his voyage earlier this year, Minderoo Foundation Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, said, “Jon is an extraordinary Australian, and we are immensely grateful for his herculean efforts, which have helped to increase awareness and scientific evidence of the impact plastic waste is having on our oceans, and ourselves.”

Minderoo Foundation
by Minderoo Foundation

Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.

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