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270,000 Tons of Plastic Found in Oceans

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ– A new study discovered there is 270,000 tons of plastic in the ocean.

Model results for global count density if four size classes.
Model results for global count density if four size classes.

Scientists discovered that there are over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic currently floating in the ocean according to a study published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. Researchers from the study said, “our estimates are highly conservative, and may be considered minimum estimates. They also do not account for the potentially massive amount of plastic present on shorelines, on the seabed, suspended in the water column, and within organisms”
This is the first study in history to compare all sizes of plastic that are currently floating in the world’s oceans. Many predictions and studies in the past have been limited to microplastics. This study obtained a more accurate estimate by collecting data from four different kinds of plastics; small microplastics, large microplastics, mesoplastics and macroplastics.
The data was collected over a six-year period from 24 trips to 1,575 locations in North Pacific, the South Pacific, the South Atlantic and the Indian oceans. Although many of the pieces of plastic are very small, they still have a significant impact on the environment. Many of the pieces are consumed by small fish, marine reptiles, and sea birds and eventually end up working their way up the food chain.