8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans every year

University of Georgia’s Jenna Jambeck and her colleagues in the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis working group have finally put a number on the global problem of ocean plastic pollution. Their study, reported in the journal Science, found between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic entered the ocean in 2010 from people living within 50 km of the coastline. That year, a total of 275 million tonnes of plastic waste was generated in those 192 coastal countries. Using 8 million tonnes as the midpoint, this is the equivalent to finding five grocery bags full of plastic on every 30cm of coastline in the 192 countries examined. (…)

Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 94, Issues 1–2, Pages 1–4, May 2015
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