The Atlantic Ocean can contain up to 200 million tonnes of microplastic pollution, and its ten times more than previously thought, a new study reports.
The Scientists deeply examined the uppermost surface of the Atlantic on a British research expedition and found 12 million tonnes of microplastics, plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in diameter.
From this they estimated the entire Atlantic Ocean, from the surface to seabed, to be carrying at least an extra 178 million tonnes of plastic on top of previous estimates.
Scientists previously expected that the amount of plastic that had entered the Atlantic since 1950 equaled 17 million tonnes.
But earlier studies hadn’t been measuring the concentrations of microplastic particles beneath the ocean surface, invisible to the human eye.