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Deep in Taiwan’s Forests, Microplastics Are Found in Bear Feces

A Greenpeace study finds the tiny plastic flakes and particles in animal droppings in remote corners of the island.

Formosan Black Bears.

Formosan Black Bears.

Photographer: Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images

Scientists have found microplastics in bear and deer feces in Taiwan, highlighting how the tiny flakes and particles are flooding natural ecosystems and being ingested by animals and humans even in some of the most remote places on the planet.

The pollution was found in fecal matter from protected species in Taiwan including black bears, sambar deer, otters, yellow-throated martens and leopard cats, according to a study conducted in 2021 and 2022 by Greenpeace East Asia along with local scholars and experts. Some microplastics concentration levels were higher than those documented in domesticated cattle manure in other studies.