How often does the same old sad story repeat itself? You set out for a nice walk along a seemingly pristine beach but once you’re out on the sand, it’s clogged with plastic bottles and other garbage. A grim report estimates that there are over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic weighing over 250,000 tons floating on the world’s oceans. All of that pollution has had a serious impact on the environment with evidence even suggesting that marine organisms as far as 10km beneath the surface have ingested plastic fragments.
The infographic below shows the distribution of plastic pollution across the world’s oceans. The North Pacific has the highest level of contamination with nearly 2 trillion pieces of plastic while the Indian Ocean comes second with 1.3 trillion. According to a recent Greenpeace report, the world’s top-6 companies sell plastic bottles weighing over 2 million tons every year – that’s the same weight as 10,000 blue whales. Even though all plastic bottles can be recycled, unfortunately a huge number of them still end up in the ocean and landfill rather than the recycling plant.
This chart shows the number and weight of plastic pieces afloat at sea.
via Waking Science