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Posts Tagged ‘Microplastic pollution’

5.25 trillion plastic particles currently floating in world’s oceans

Posted by feww on March 15, 2017

Plastic threat increasing in world’s oceans

Researchers estimate at least 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons are currently floating in world’s oceans (December 2014).

Model results for the total particle count and weight of plastic floating in the world’s oceans.

“Our estimates suggest that the two Northern Hemisphere ocean regions contain 55.6% of particles and 56.8% of plastic mass compared to the Southern Hemisphere, with the North Pacific containing 37.9% and 35.8% by particle count and mass, respectively. In the Southern Hemisphere the Indian Ocean appears to have a greater particle count and weight than the South Atlantic and South Pacific oceans combined.”

‘Extraordinary’ levels of pollutants found in 10km deep Mariana trench, in the Pacific Ocean, shows nowhere is safe from human impact, say researches.

“Small crustaceans that live in the pitch-black waters of the trench, captured by a robotic submarine, were contaminated with 50 times more toxic chemicals than crabs that survive in heavily polluted rivers in China,” said a report citing researchers.

Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0111913

Annual global production of plastics has increased from 5 million tons in the 1950s to well over 230 million tons today. However, because of their disposable nature substantial quantities of plastic items have been discarded to the environment and so the abundance of microplastic is likely to increase over the next few decade.

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Moment Plastic Enters Food Chain Captured on Video

Posted by feww on March 11, 2017

One way waste plastic enters the global food chain

A researcher has filmed the moment plastic microfiber is ingested by plankton, thereby entering the marine and global food chain.

About 150 million tons of plastic vanishes from the world’s waste inventory each year.

Freeze frame from a video captured by Dr Richard Kirby shows plankton ingesting plastic microfiber. Source: BBC.

Video and article posted at Plankton ingesting plastic microfiber.

Additional reading:

http://www.esm.ucsb.edu/research/2016Group_Projects/documents/PataPlastFinalReport.pdf

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