Intaenational Pellet Watch HOME

Global Monitoring of POPs using Beached Plastic Resin Pellets.

pollutan map

Analytical results

Pollutan Map on Google Maps Pollutan Map on Google Earth Grobal Pollutan Map (Diagram) Japanese version of IPW website

What’s International Pellet Watch (IPW)

Global monitoring of POPs by using beached plastic resin pellets.

IPW is a volunteer-based global monitoring program designed to monitor the pollution status of the oceans. Since its launch in 2005, ~ 80 groups and individuals from ~ 50 countries have been participating in this project to cover ~ 200 locations around the world. We focus on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as PCBs and organochlorine pesticides. Because of their bioaccumulative nature and adverse effects on marine organisms and humans, POPs are regulated by an international treaty (i.e., Stockholm Convention).

Plastic Pollution.

IPW is based on the fact that POPs are accumulated in resin pellets (plastic raw material) from the surrounding seawater by a factor of millions. Similar accumulation occurs with broken plastic fragments in the ocean. Pellets are surrogates for all marine plastics. IPW reveals the magnitude and spatial variability of POPs in marine plastics for risk assessment. IPW has demonstrated that marine plastics transport POPs in marine environments, even to remote areas. Studies related to IPW also demonstrated the transfer of POPs from ingested plastics to the tissues of biota that mistakenly consume marine plastics.

Call for pellets!

Our areal coverage is still limited. IPW is still going on. If you would send pellets from your near-by beaches, it would be great for saving our planet.


news & topics

July 2nd, 2014.
Yesterday, we had very much disappointing news. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet approved changes to Japan’s postwar security policy that could lead to the Self-Defense Forces’ use of military force in overseas battles.
Though IPW is not political movement, I just wanted to express my opinion against his approval, because it may give serious adverse effects on our international collaboration. IPW totally depends on relationship of mutual trust with participants around the world. The way of the Cabinet is totally opposite from our way. We just want to make international contribution by peaceful way with utilizing our skill and knowledge. I hope that our peaceful collaboration would not be damaged, despite this stupid behavior of the politician.

Shige Takada, coordinator of IPW.

June. 5th, 2014 :
International workshop on Pellet Watch was held in Tokyo (TUAT campus) on May 22nd and 23rd. Dr. Lorena M. Rios Mendoza (University of Wisconsin-Superior, USA), Dr. Rosalinda Carmela Montone (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil), Dr. Satie Taniguchi (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil), Dr. Sang Hee Hong (KIOST, Korea), Dr. Hrissi K. Karapanagioti (University of Patras, Greece), Dr. Michail Angelidis (IAEA, Monaco), Dr. Shige Takada (LOG, TUAT, Japan), Dr. Rei Yamashita (LOG, TUAT, Japan) discussed about analysis POPs in pellets and how to integrate their analytical data on global scale. The workshop was financially supported by UNESCO/IOC/GEF (Global Environment Facility) Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP)

Pellet Watch Tokyo Workshop

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Mailing address:

Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Prof. Hideshige
Takada, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology,
Fuchu, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan

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