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Plastic Pollution in the World's Oceans


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Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Plastic Pollution in the World's Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea

     

    Abstract

    Plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the marine environment, yet estimates of the global abundance and weight of floating plastics have lacked data, particularly from the Southern Hemisphere and remote regions. Here we report an estimate of the total number of plastic particles and their weight floating in the world's oceans from 24 expeditions (2007–2013) across all five sub-tropical gyres, costal Australia, Bay of Bengal and the Mediterranean Sea conducting surface net tows (N = 680) and visual survey transects of large plastic debris (N = 891). Using an oceanographic model of floating debris dispersal calibrated by our data, and correcting for wind-driven vertical mixing, we estimate a minimum of 5.25 trillion particles weighing 268,940 tons. When comparing between four size classes, two microplastic <4.75 mm and meso- and macroplastic >4.75 mm, a tremendous loss of microplastics is observed from the sea surface compared to expected rates of fragmentation, suggesting there are mechanisms at play that remove <4.75 mm plastic particles from the ocean surface.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0111913&representation=PDF

     

    New York Times article

     

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/11/science/new-research-quantifies-the-oceans-plastic-problem.html?_r=0

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    Posted
  • Location: North York Moors
  • Location: North York Moors

    Hardly surprising when it seems to have become 'normalised' for people to just throw plastic bottles etc to the ground or out of car windows.
    The increase in deliberate roadside litter in recent years is just disgusting, and speaks volumes about the population's total lack regard for the environment.
    It's hard to believe that people will drive many miles to a beauty spot, or park up to admire a view, then despoil the place by just throwing all kinds of litter out of the vehicle?

     


    http://thecrapfairy.com/

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion

    As I have often said, this will be the true legacy of the human race - in millions of years time, future geologists will identify the 'anthropocene' not by climate change, not my mass extinctions, but by the layer of microscopic plastic particles to be found in sedimentary rocks all across the planet.

    Meanwtime, worth noting that every time you have a fish supper, you are probably also eating a few bits of micro-plastic, previously eaten by a little fish before it was eaten by the cod you just had battered  ....

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    Posted
  • Location: Croydon. South London. 161 ft asl
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms, snow, warm sunny days.
  • Location: Croydon. South London. 161 ft asl

    It's one of my biggest irritation seeing plastics strewn all over the place.. Why can't the government have a scheme where the unemployed can earn extra JSA by keeping our country free from rubbish?.. 

     

    Essan.. thanks for spoiling my love for fish.. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Sun, Snow and Storms
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. - 131 m asl

    Have to agree with the responses on this.

     

    In 2010 we cruised round Australia and up past Indonesia and New Guinea towards Singapore.

     

    For over 2.5 days we sailed through what can only be described as trash . Everwhere on the sea surface was plastic and aluminium containers for things like milk bottles, coke cans as well as other assorted rubbish.

     

    The captain of the ship said it could be connected with the Tsunami  in Indonesia which had occured a few years before, but to me (sceptic hat on) it looked like systemic dumping of trash at sea.

     

    Really, really bad news for our futures.

     

    MIA . 

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