World Seas Contain Around 170 Trillion Plastic Particles

There are currently more than 170 trillion plastic particles floating in the world’s oceans, according to a new study by The 5 Gyres Institute, an American environmental organization focused on tackling plastic pollution. They estimated that the plastic particles weighed about 2 million metric tons. That figure could almost triple by 2040 if nothing is done.

The research report has been published in the journal PLoS One recently. The paper published under the title “Growing plastic smog, now estimated to be more than 170 trillion plastic particles floating in the world’s oceans—Urgent solution needed” can be boldly obtained. The study authors’ paper argues that if plastic continues to be produced at its current rate, then a “clean-up” is in effect.

They blame the plastics industry for rejecting commitments to buy recycled materials or recyclable designs. To address the plastic problem, the researchers call on lawmakers to urgently implement policy measures focused on depression and resource reuse to minimize ecological, social, and economic harm.

“The exponential rise of microplastics across the world’s oceans is a stark warning that we must act now on a global scale,” said Marcus Eriksen, co-founder of The 5 Gyres Institute. “Stop focusing on cleanup and recycling, and usher in an era of corporate responsibility for a lifetime of the things they make,” he said.

The researchers assessed trends in ocean plastic from 1979 to 2019 and noted there had been a dramatic increase in the mass and containment of marine plastic since 2005. They said this may reflect exponential growth in plastic production, fragmentation of existing plastic pollution, or changes in production, and management of terrestrial waste.

“Cleanup is pointless if we continue to produce plastic at the current pace, and we’ve been hearing about recycling for far too long while the plastics industry has simultaneously resisted commitments to buy recycled materials or designs to be recyclable,” said Eriksen. “It’s time to tackle the plastic problem at the source,” he added.

The amount of plastic entering the world’s oceans is expected to increase by approximately 2.6 times from 2016 to 2040 if action is not taken to reverse this trend. “As global awareness, science, and policy interventions for plastics increase, institutions around the world are seeking preventative strategies,” the study states.

Source: National Geographic


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *