Study Shows That 270,000 Tons Of Plastic Float In The Ocean
HONOLULU (AP) — A new study estimates nearly 270,000 tons of plastic is floating in the world’s oceans. That’s enough to fill more than 38,500 garbage trucks.
The plastic is broken up into more than 5 trillion pieces, said the study published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
The paper is the latest in a nascent field where scientists are trying to better understand how much of the synthetic material is entering the oceans and how it’s affecting fish, seabirds and the larger marine ecosystem.
The study’s lead author is Markus Eriksen of the 5 Gyres Institute, an organization that aims to reduce plastic in the oceans.
To gather data, researchers dragged a fine mesh net at the sea surface to gather small pieces. Observers on boats counted larger items. They used computer models to calculate estimates for tracts of ocean not surveyed.
The study only measured plastic floating at the surface. Plastic on the ocean floor wasn’t included.
Bits greater than about 8 inches accounted for three-quarters of the plastic that the research estimated is in the ocean.
Kara Lavender Law of the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, who wasn’t involved in the study, said the researchers gathered data in areas where scientists —> Read More Here