Two Homo sapiens in red smocks wading in shallow freshwater lakes with a bucket and flask, filtering hundreds of litres of water. That was the main activity on Christophe and Annabel’s sampling hike two weeks ago and I had the honour to join them. Hiking up a plateau next to town, we first landed in a fossil paradise and were free to play for 15 minutes in this giant treasure trove. After the fossil paradise, we encountered several freshwater lakes that were to be sampled. Some just for microplastics, some for microplastics and zooplankton. Dressed in red smocks (in order to easily spot fibres from the jackets), Christophe and Annabel faced the lakes, ready to filter 100 litres of water from each (collecting the plastics in the filter). Back in the laboratory in the Netherlands, Christophe began looking at the samples, hunting for microplastics. There are definitely microplastics in the water; he’s already found some. It is believed that these plastics are just deposited from the air on the surface of the water. Microplastics are everywhere.
The sampling hike had some nice side effects. The walk was incredibly beautiful and apart from the previously mentioned fossil paradise, we saw stone circles (unique geological patterns, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patterned_ground#Circles), we saw puffins flying above a sea of green moss, and we had an incredibly impressive view of the outer part of the Brøgger peninsula and the vast ocean. It was a real pleasure to join this hike!