On Monday June 30 the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published a scientific paper, led by Andrés Cozar from the University of Cádiz (Spain) and co-authored by one of us, C.D., which resulted from the global Malaspina Circumnavigation Expedition that C.D. leads. This paper provides a first estimate of the amount of plastic litter floating in the open ocean.
General circulation models predict that plastic particles should accumulate in the central areas of the oceans, known as the subtropical gyres of the ocean, of which there are five across the ocean, but only two, those in the northern hemisphere (N. Pacific and the N. Atlantic), had been sampled for plastic litter before.
We found plastic litter to be scattered all over the open ocean, as 88% of the samples collected contained plastic debris, including significant loads around Australia.
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