A sea of plastic: More plastic than plankton in our ocean

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Logo compliments of Plastic Free Ocean

Staggering Statistics:

It is estimated that we have 6 times more plastic than plankton in our Oceans.

Almost 80% of the 3.5 million tons of trash in the ocean is plastic.

Every year, at least a million sea birds and 100,000 sharks, turtles, dolphins and whales die from eating plastic.

According to the EPA, between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. Americans alone throw away over 100 billion bags a year.

Every hour, approximately 200,000 plastic bags are landfilled and may take 1,000 years to break down. For the plastic bags that become litter, rain washes them into bodies of water where they threaten the lives of avian and marine species that can die from consuming or choking on the bags. Plastic pollution travels through our local waterways, eventually reaching the global oceans. On average, 46,000 pieces of plastic are swirling in each square mile of our oceans.

Check out more information at these websites:

http://www.plasticfreeocean.org/

http://www.algalita.org/research.html

http://sio.ucsd.edu/Expeditions/Seaplex/Newsroom/

http://seaplexscience.com/

Plastic Bags are an unnecessary evil (VerdeMom.com)

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12 Responses to A sea of plastic: More plastic than plankton in our ocean

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  3. sandy says:

    Thanks for writing about this. Glad there are still some people like you who value our world’s oceans. Maybe the least we can do is disposing of our items properly. Check this video out. http://youtu.be/qQUECrYE2bY

    • Melinda Anderson says:

      Thanks for sharing this You Tube video link with us. The amount of plastic trash that washes up on our beaches every year is staggering; we can all do a mini beach cleanup on our walks in the sand.

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  7. asd says:

    World plastic production is now about 40 million tons per year.

    Ocean plankton production is about 1gm/m2/day or about 1 tonne/ km2/day

    Oceans are about 300 million km2

    That’s about 300 million tonnes of plankton growth each day, a low estimate. So maybe 30 – 40 billion tonnes of standing plankton biomass per year.

    How does one get from 40 million tonnes per year total world plastic production to an ocean filled with more plastic than plankton?

    If one assumes 100% of all plastic ever produced is floating today in the oceans one might estimate 100 years of plastic production x 40 million tonnes per year (current production rate) might equal 4 billion tonnes of plastic ever produced. More likely 1/10th that, but hey go ahead and give max case in favour of the plastic horror vs. least case for Pico and kin.

    If one factors in the fact that not all plastic production is making it out of the land fills and into the oceans to float around as one factor, nothing near 4 billion tonnes of plastic has ever been produced as another factor, recycling of plastics another factor, breakdown in the environment another factor, and perhaps more then just how do “they” justify the outrageous scare media marketing tactics. There are 4 or 5 orders of magnitude of “scary spice” in the soup.

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