The team, lead by marine biologist Tim Gordon from Exeter University made the discovery in areas hundreds of miles from land, previously covered by ice all year round. But the problem isn’t just that that plastic is littering the North Pole; the bigger worry is that it’s all breaking down into ‘microplastics, which are then consumed by wildlife and spread through the food chain.
The only reason the team was able to make the discovery is because the year-round ice cover in that area of the central Arctic Ocean has melted, letting them go further than any other yacht in history. Ironically, that’s thought to be the work of climate change, another of our “gifts” to Earth.
"Finding pieces of rubbish like this is a worrying sign that melting ice may be allowing high levels of pollution to drift into these areas,” Gordon said. “This is potentially very dangerous for the Arctic’s wildlife."