On November 9th, the Buenos Aires Economic News Network published a report titled "From Latin America to Asia: Tracking and Collecting Plastic Pollution in Lakes and Seas by Argentine Scientist Maria Belen Alfonso" in a recent issue. The full text is excerpted as follows:
They are tiny animals that seem far from human homes. They are "planktonic animals", similar to krill, snails, worms, etc. They live in lakes, rivers, and oceans, and are also victims of plastic pollution caused by humans.
Maria Bellen Alfonso has become a global benchmark in the field of microplastic pollution monitoring due to her research on ecosystems from Latin America to Asia.
When plastic waste is improperly discarded into the environment, it will degrade, decompose, and form microplastic particles with a diameter less than 5 millimeters, "Maria said.
It is estimated that there are over 24.4 billion microplastics floating in the ocean, which is equivalent to 100 times the number of stars in the Milky Way.
Maria completed her doctoral degree at the Argentine Institute of Oceanography. That was a very rich experience because I learned about climate, freshwater and marine ecosystems, and other topics. During her postdoctoral period, Maria was very interested in the issue of microplastics in lakes. The method she uses to study microplastics is similar to the method used to study zooplankton, and a special net is also used. Because microplastics and zooplankton are very small.
I completed my first study on microplastics in a lake in Buenos Aires. Then I completed another study in a lake in Patagonia, "Maria recalled. These are the earliest studies to provide evidence of microplastic pollution in Argentina.
During the COVID-19, the scientist had the opportunity to carry out investigation and research in Japan. She arrived in Japan in 2021.
Maria stated that Japan attaches great importance to the issue of microplastics. "The government supports us in establishing a global microplastics database. Kyushu University has established the Marine Plastics Research Center. We are conducting a collaborative project with Chulalongkorn University in Thailand to analyze the existence and distribution of plastic pollution in the marine environment of Southeast Asia from different perspectives.
Maria has also participated in other initiatives, such as the United Nations Environment Programme's Global Partnership on Plastic Pollution and Marine Garbage, which is developing a digital platform to calculate relevant impact indicators, with a focus on decision-makers, politicians, and society as a whole. (Compilation/Awakening)
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