There’s less plastic littering the oceans than scientists previously thought, but what’s there can last a long time, says a new study.
Modeling studies estimate that pieces of plastic larger than 25 millimeters make up more than 95% of the plastic floating in the oceans. While most of the plastic particles in the oceans are very small, the total mass of these microplastics defined as less than 5 millimeters is relatively low.
According to research published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the abundance of larger floating pieces indicates that the total amount of plastic in the oceans is much lower than previously thought.
Erik van Sebille of the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands said in a statement that the large pieces floating on surfaces were easier to clean than microplastics.
These results are based on a 3D model of the ocean using a large amount of observational and measurement data taken from the surface, coast and deep sea from 1980 to 2020. The model also found that less new plastic finds its way into the ocean each year than expected. (Provigil) Previously, most of it came from the coastline and fishing activities.
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Mikael Kaandorp, a lead author on the study, said that the combination of more surface plastic and less new plastic meant that trash was likely to stay in the oceans longer. This means it will take longer for the effects of measures to combat plastic waste to be seen.
Therefore, if we don’t take action now, the effects will be felt for much longer, and the amount of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is still growing. Without further mitigation and cleanup, the remaining plastic waste could double in two decades. Plastic debris is estimated to kill more than one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals each year.
Source: The Straits Time