Every year, ocean plastic makes headlines and this year is no different.
A new study determined that roughly 15 million tons of microplastics have sunk to the deep sea, which is double the estimated amount of plastic floating at the ocean’s surface. The estimate was based upon a seafloor sampling project off the coast of Australia that recovered sediment.
The researchers measured the amount of microplastics in the samples and then used that data to calculate microplastic abundance worldwide. Sadly, the scientists acknowledge that their estimate was conservative, meaning that likely even more plastic sits at the bottom of the ocean.