In a report published today by Scientific Reports, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch now has 1.8 trillion pieces of trash, which contains mostly plastic.
The floating hoard of man-made debris that’s twice the size of Texas is up to 16 times larger than previously thought — carrying about 79,000 metric tons of plastic, according to scientists who performed an aerial survey.
Dr Lebreton told MailOnline: ‘We estimate around 80,000 tonnes of plastic is currently floating inside an area of 1.6 million km2 [620,000 square miles].
‘By comparing our results with previous studies we find that plastic pollution has been increasing exponentially since the 1970’s when first measurements where reported.’
Scientists are working with the European Space Agency to take photos of the various garbage patches from space.
The study was based on a three-year mapping effort conducted by an international team of scientists affiliated with the Ocean Cleanup Foundation, six universities and an aerial sensor company.
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