Plastic in the ocean facts

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Tons of plastic waste dumped in oceans

Globally, this year

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8,858,057

Tons of plastic waste dumped in oceans

Globally, this year

By TheWorldCounts

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A lot of the plastic we...
use eventually ends up in the ocean. The plastic pollutes the ecosystem and takes thousands of years to decompose. See more plastic in the ocean facts below.

Top 5 facts about plastic waste dumped in oceans

1

We are polluting our oceans

At least 10% of the 100 million tons of plastic we use every year end up in the oceans. This is equivalent to the weight of 700 billion plastic bottles. Put on top of each other these bottles would reach further than the sun. But they are not going to the sun. They are in our oceans and will stay there.


2

With scary consequences

Ocean currents have created several gigantic “plastic soups” around the world. No-one knows the size of these, but they could cover up to 16 million km2, or the combined size of Europe, India and Mexico!


3

It could go completely wrong

The plastic soup has been growing 10 times in size every decade since the 1950s. If nothing is done now, this problem will spin completely out of control.


4

The chemicals build up

Fish and shellfish contain toxic chemicals at concentrations as high as nine million times (!) those found in the water in which they swim.


5

What can we do?

Notice all the plastic around you, the plastic bags you use, and change to biodegradable alternatives. They exist! And take a look at the video below of the plastic soup in the Pacific Ocean.



Plastic waste dumped in oceans

About 10 million tons of plastic is estimated to end up in the oceans every year. The exact number is impossible to know.


We are polluting our oceans

With scary consequences

It could go completely wrong

The chemicals build up

What can we do?

Watch a video

Synthetic Sea

In the North Pacific Gyre, marine samples show plastics outweigh plankton by 6:1. Between 60-80% of marine trash is plastic - 80% of which comes from land-based debris.

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Garbage Island: An Ocean Full of Plastic

Vice sails to the North Pacific Gyre, collecting point for all of the ocean's flotsam and home of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: a mythical, Texas-sized island made entirely of our trash.

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