The Citizen. By CNS reporter/Shiraz Habbib.
A new study has shown that more than one trillion pieces of rubbish are floating around the Indian Ocean.
The combined weight of plastic in the ocean amounts to more than 38 000 elephants, North Glen News reports.
While most people think about “islands of plastic” floating in the ocean, the reality is much grimmer. The ocean’s plastic is not centralised but broken up in tiny, confetti-like pieces.
A recent paper entitled “Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans” by oceanographer Marcus Eriksen was released after he conducted a six-year study. His team of researchers went on a number of expeditions across all five of the sea’s major gyres to collect samples.
Their conclusion is that there are more than five trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans. The North Pacific ocean has two trillion pieces of plastic floating around it, while the Indian Ocean contains one trillion pieces of plastic.
The impact of plastic pollution on marine life has been catastrophic. Seals, turtles and seabirds routinely get trapped in rings of plastic in the ocean, and creatures such as the albatross ingest plastic material it mistakes for food.
Plastic is also known to “choke” corals on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef when tiny fragments of the material is eaten by the non-selective feeders, according to Science Daily.
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