A new study by the Ocean Cleanup Foundation has revealed that plastic pollution in oceans has increased by an alarming 150% over the past decade. The researchers behind the study analyzed data from aerial and marine surveys, along with computer models, to estimate that there are now a staggering 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch alone, which covers an area three times the size of France.
The study has highlighted the urgent need to address plastic pollution and its damaging effects on marine ecosystems. Plastic waste can entangle and harm marine wildlife and release toxic chemicals that can cause illness in animals and humans alike. It can also break down into microplastics that contaminate the food chain.
The report also points out that a significant portion of the plastic waste comes from just a handful of countries, including China, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The good news is that reducing plastic waste in these countries could have a big impact on global plastic pollution levels.
Environmental organizations and individuals have already started taking action to reduce plastic pollution, but there is still much work to be done. The study’s authors hope that their findings will spur governments, companies, and individuals to take even more action and make meaningful changes to curb plastic pollution and protect the world’s oceans.