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This is where all the plastic in the ocean is going

There are five trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans, weighing a total of 268,000 tonnes. That’s according to a paper by an international team of scientists who took a substantial amount of data collected across the globe and merged it with ocean circulation models to come up with the staggering figure.

That sounds like a lot of plastic – it is a lot of plastic – but it isn’t distributed quite as most people would imagine.

First of all, the way a Pacific Garbage Patch has been reported by some newspapers is largely a myth. No, you can’t see the garbage patch from space – the “garbage” in question is usually many small particles.

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