We are all aware that the plastic pollution has become a big problem for our oceans, but we want to share the numbers to give an insight on how bad it has really gone. A new study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, estimates that nearly 270,000 tons of plastic are floating in our ocean. How much is this, really? Well, it has been calculated that it could fill 38,500 garbage trucks. That’s a lot of garbage trucks. Too many, actually. The study also mentions that the plastic is broken into approximately 5 trillion pieces.
The study was authored by Markus Eriksen of the 5 Gyres Institute, who is part of an organization to help reduce the amount of plastic.
Researchers dragged a mesh net through the sea surface in order to gather small pieces while observers on boats counted large fragments. For the rest, computer models were used in order to approximately calculate for areas of the ocean which were not surveyed. This study did not include the ocean floor.
This study was conducted not only to measure the severity of the plastic pollution in the ocean, but to also measure how this is affecting the environment and the ecosystems.
With this amount of plastic in the ocean, we are ingesting fish who have ingested fish who have ingested plastic, who have also ingested other plastic-eating fish. It is a cycle filled with potentially toxic materials. Nobody really wins here.
Hopefully this study will give us an insight on what we are putting on our plate, what other creatures are putting up with in that ocean, and what we can do to help reduce it!