British oceanologists have named the amount of plastic waste in the upper Atlantic Ocean.
Scientists working at the National Oceanographic Center prepared a detailed report of the study, which was published by the journal Nature Communications. It is assumed that the total volume of synthetic waste reaches 21 million tons.
Scientists note that this result looks ominous, since during previous water tests the indicators were ten times lower. Water was taken for analysis in various parts of the Atlantic Ocean. The depth from which the water was taken was on average 200 m. Most often, the samples contained the remains of one of the three common types of plastic - polystyrene, polyethylene or propylene.
Before the announcement of the results of the study, scientists assumed that over the past 65 years, the amount of plastic in the Atlantic Ocean had grown to 17 million tons, but it turned out that only the upper layers had collected microplastics up to 21 million tons. If we talk about the entire ocean, then the volume increases another 10 times - at least 200 million tons.
According to the authors of the study, plastic waste ends up in the Atlantic not only because of the large-scale dumping of garbage, but also because of the constant washing of clothes made of synthetic fabrics. The paint remains in the water and also leads to the accumulation of contaminants. Experts suggest that in the distant future, the territory of East Africa will split under the influence of natural disasters, and a new ocean will appear.