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Aussie 'citizen scientists' hunt for microplastics to raise environmental awareness Updated: 2021-04-22 06:06:03 KST

Welcome, it's time for the 'World Now'. Bringing you some of the most interesting news from around the globe, I'm Eum Ji-young.
Today is Earth day which highlights the efforts being made around the world to make the Earth a better place to live, including work by some Aussie 'citizen scientists' who hunt for microplastics.
The group use a pan and sieve to sift sand along Australian beaches, map microplastic hotspots and raise awareness of the tiny plastic pieces causing problems for the Earth.

"By engaging people in the AUSMAP program, I think their awareness of what happens to that plastic - you know that wrapper - you know ends up potentially in the environment breaking up into little bits and so they see that when they come to the beach. And so that raises awareness. And our data that we gather is kind of contributing to the larger global data set on how much microplastics are actually out there."

The citizen scientists hope to use the data they collect to develop solutions and find out how to clean them up.
Every year, around 12 million metric tonnes of plastic goes into oceans across the globe.
Microplastic pieces that are 5 millimeters or smaller are not biodegradable and are harmful to marine wildlife.
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