Plastics entering the world’s oceans have surged by an “unprecedented” amount since 2005 and could nearly triple by 2040 if no further action is taken, according to research published on Wednesday.
An estimated 171 trillion plastic particles were afloat in the oceans by 2019, according to peer-reviewed research led by the 5 Gyres Institute, a U.S. organisation that campaigns to reduce plastic pollution.
Marine plastic pollution could rise 2.6 fold by 2040 if legally binding global policies are not introduced, it predicted.
The study looked at surface-level plastic pollution data from 11,777 ocean stations in six major marine regions covering the period from 1979 to 2019.
“We’ve found an alarming trend of exponential growth in microplastics in the global ocean since the millennium,” Marcus Eriksen, co-founder of the 5 Gyres Group said in a statement. [Continue reading…]