The Plastic Beaches

Posted by — March 2, 2015 12:28 pm

A new study by Jenna Jambeck gives us a visual of how much plastic is really in our oceans and it may be more than you think. Her study is the most in-depth research of this issue in Recent years. In 2010 alone, there was an estimate between 4.8 million metric tons and 12.7 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean. To visualize this, the median, about 8 million metric tons, is the equivalent of five plastic grocery bags full of plastic for every foot of coastline on Earth. Jambeck’s study also revealed that if nations do not slow down plastic waste, we can see these numbers double in just ten years.

This study involved years of data that aggregated the statistics of 192 nations with coastlines and the annual estimated overall waste produced by each person in those nations. They then took the overall waste and estimated the percentage of waste likely to be plastic, finally they calculated the possibility of plastic waste to end up in the ocean. Nancy Wallace the director of the marine debris program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says, “This is a significant study” and she believes the study gives light to where we as humans may need to focus more to avoid the flooding of waste in our oceans.

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Read more about it here.