Plastic in ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ increases 100-fold

Study: Plastic in ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ increases 100-fold

A new study published in Biology Letters found that microplastic concentrations in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG) have seen a 100-fold increase over the past 40 years.

The Pacific Garbage Patch is a swatch of ocean, thought to be between the size of Texas and twice the size of Hawai’i, that is covered by tiny bits of plastic broken down to the size of a human fingernail or smaller. These pervasive bits of plastic are already beginning to have a huge impact on local ecosystems.

Sea skaters, an insect commonly found in this subtropical region, typically lay their eggs on bird feathers, pumice, seashells and other hard, natural surfaces. But plastic has provided these insects with a new surface for egg-laying, resulting in a notable rise in their egg density. The sea skater population boom is expected to be felt all the way up the food chain.

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Plastic in ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ Increases 100-Fold