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5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our water ways

Great job humans....

A comprehensive study has revealed there are 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in Oceans around the world. The Washington post has done the maths - "With a global population of about 7.2 billion, that's nearly 700 pieces per person."

These findings come from data collected by scientists from the US, France, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.

The Guardian explains:

"The volume of plastic pieces, largely deriving from products such as food and drink packaging and clothing, was calculated from data taken from 24 expeditions over a six-year period to 2013. The research, published in the journal PLOS One , is the first study to look at plastics of all sizes in the world's oceans.

Large pieces of plastic can strangle animals such as seals, while smaller pieces are ingested by fish and then fed up the food chain, all the way to humans.

This is problematic due to the chemicals contained within plastics, as well as the pollutants that plastic attract once they are in the marine environment.

The researchers collected small plastic fragments in nets, while larger pieces were observed from boats. The northern and southern sections of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans were surveyed, as well as the Indian ocean, the coast of Australia and the Bay of Bengal.

The vast amount of plastic, weighing 268,940 tonnes, includes everything from plastic bags to fishing gear debris.

While spread out around the globe, much of this rubbish accumulates in five large ocean gyres, which are circular currents that churn up plastics in a set area. Each of the major oceans have plastic-filled gyres, including the well-known 'great Pacific garbage patch' that covers an area roughly equivalent to Texas."

This is a truly disturbing statistic and a stark reminder of how much we have let plastic take over our lives. It's easy to work towards a plastic free lifestyle, Plastic Free july has an excellent toolkit to get you stated. CLICK HERE .


Shea Hogarth International Correspondent Suggest an article Send us an email