Bottles, bags, ropes and toothbrushes: the struggle to track ocean plastics

Scientists know that there is a colossal amount of plastic in the oceans. But they don’t know where it all is, what it looks like or what damage it does.

Bottles, fishing nets, ropes, shoes and toothbrushes are among the tons of waste washed up here, thanks to a combination of ocean currents and local eddies. A study in 2011 reported that the top sand layer could be up to 30% plastic by weight1. It has been called the dirtiest beach in the world, and is a startling and visible demonstration of how much plastic detritus humanity has dumped into the world’s oceans. (…)

Daniel Cressey, Nature 536, 263–265, August 2016

The article

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