There’s A Little Good News About The Awful Amount Of Plastic In The Ocean

Ethics Asylum

Image Credit: JAY DIRECTO via Getty Images

CASCAIS, PORTUGAL — Giant patches of garbage floating in the ocean have received a lot of press in recent years. But they’re just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to marine plastic pollution, as ocean advocates will tell you.

“The part that floats is the part people are concerned about, but it’s only a small part,” said Andrew Morlet, chief executive of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in a panel discussion on marine pollution at the World Ocean Summit on Thursday in Cascais, Portugal.

The total amount of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is staggering: about 130 million metric tons. And the world is adding some 5 to 13 million additional tons a year, according to a paper published in the journal Science in February. At that rate, there will be 250 million tons within the next 10 years — or…

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