Over 14 million tonnes of plastic believed to be on ocean floor

Source : 112 Ukraine

This figure is small compared to how much plastic is thrown into the ocean every year
15:00, 6 October 2020

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At the bottom of the world’s oceans, there are at least 14m tons of plastic waste less than 5 mm wide. This is 30 times more than on the surface. It was reported by The Guardian, citing a study by the state science agency CSIRO.

Australia’s government science agency, CSIRO, gathered and analyzed cores of the ocean floor taken at six remote sites about 300km off the country’s southern coast in the Great Australian Bight.

Researchers looked at 51 samples and found that after excluding the weight of the water, each gram of sediment contained an average of 1.26 microplastic pieces.

Dr. Denise Hardesty, a principal research scientist at CSIRO, told that finding microplastic in such a remote location and at such depths "points to the ubiquity of plastics, no matter where you are in the world".

Hardesty said it wasn’t possible to know how old the pieces of plastic were, or what sort of object they had once been part of. But she said the shape of the pieces under a microscope suggested they were once consumer items.

For the study, the researchers extrapolated the amount of plastic found in their core samples and from research from other organizations to conclude as much as 14.4m tonnes of microplastic was now on the ocean floor globally.

While this may seem a large figure, Hardesty said it was small compared to the amount of plastics likely entering the ocean each year.

As it was reported earlier, Ukaine's Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Roman Abramovsky said that there would have been more plastic in the Black Sea than fish by 2050.

According to him, the bank of the Dnipro river is extremely littered with plastic bottles, bags, and leftovers. Waste is dumped directly on the shore of the country's main waterway. The scale of the clogging of transboundary rivers is particularly threatening.

Related: WWF reports poor state of natural resources, environment in Ukraine

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