The Atlantic Ocean contains 10 times more plastic than originally thought
This frightening conclusion was based on samples taken at depths of 10m, 30m and 200m at 12 locations in a line from the UK to the Falklands. The methodology allowed smaller particles to be detected. Previously mainly surface samples have been analysed and the nets used had a larger mesh size. The numbers and magnitude of this problem are difficult to envisage. The common plastic waste comes from polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene. There were about 1,000 particles of these per cubic meter of seawater, and 12 to 21 million tonnes of them in the top 200m. And this is only half the plastic waste and does not include the denser particles, those that sink when they are coated with moulds and bacteria, and those inside the marine animals. This work was done by scientists at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton.
High concentrations of plastic hidden beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean Katsiaryna Pabortsava & Richard S. Lampitt Nature Communications volume 11, Article number: 4073 (2020) 18th August