Holy plastic! We knew that we had a serious problem with plastic pollution in our oceans, but we had no clue it was THIS bad. A new study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, authored by Markus Eriksen of the 5 Gyres Institute, among others, revealed that there is a whopping 270,000 TONS of plastic floating in the world’s oceans. Broken down, that equals out to more than five trillion individual pieces of plastic.
Oh, and that amount does not even include the plastic that has sunk to the ocean floor. The study was conducted in an effort to learn more about how plastic is impacting the world’s marine environment, and ultimately how it impacts us. With this massive amount of plastic waste floating through the oceans, it is inevitable that marine species will ingest plastic. It is known that plastic contains toxic chemicals that can cause damage to marine animals, or people who consume them.
While 270,000 tons of plastic might sound like a lot … do you really understand how much that means? Let’s take a look at some other things that weigh around 270,000 tons, shall we?
What You Can Do
The answer might seem obvious, but limiting your personal use of plastic is an integral part of lowering the amount of plastic in our oceans. As a rule, always choose reusables over disposables (water bottles, straws, coffee cups, etc.). For more ideas on how you can help protect the world’s marine species, check out this article.
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.
Lead image source: media.jrn.com