Plastic in the Ocean

From Coastal Wiki
Revision as of 13:15, 28 July 2009 by JMVeiga (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search


The majority of marine debris is thought to be mainly composed by or originated from plastic litter, such as plastic bags and containers, bottle caps, lost or abandonned fishing nets and lines, styrofoam.

Where does it come from?

Estimates of plastic in the world’s oceans exceed 100 million tons. Though 20% comes from ocean sources like derelict fishing gear or ocean dumping, 80% comes from land, through wind-blown landifll waste, for example.

Impacts on marine life

What is the dimension of the problem?

Plastic is not biodegradable and very little of it (less than 4%) is recycled. Because it is durable and light-weight, plastic debris travels over vast distances and accumulates on beaches and in the ocean. In the Central North Pacific Gyre, pieces of plastic outweigh surface zooplankton by a factor of 6 to 1.

Pacific trash vortex