POPS damaging effects on the environment


It is estimated that around eight million metric tons of our plastic waste enters the oceans from land each year. Last year in Australia alone, Clean Up Australia reported that almost 6000 tonnes of rubbish was removed by volunteers, with the major source being plastics.Plastics not only pollute our land and waterways, but can also transfer other harmful pollutants into the environment. Persistent Organic Pollutants, or POPs, are a group of dangerous man-made chemicals that do not easily breakdown on their own. Because of their characteristics, POPs are able to travel great distances and build-up in the food chain which means their impact is vast and inescapable. Bethany Hunter caught up with Dr Mayumi Allinson from the University of Melbourne, and began by asking her how plastic pollution effects the contamination of the environment by POPs.