Before I get to far into the details, let me review a few basics about ocean plastic.
- Plastic debris has no business being in the ocean. None. It should be disposed of properly on land - end of story. The fact that there may be less plastic in the oceans than previously thought is a nice way of saying "it's not so bad". It's still bad. There is still way too much plastic in the oceans that shouldn't be there.
- This is not what ocean plastic looks like:
- This is what ocean plastic looks like:
This new report is based on a circumnavigation expedition that sampled around the world and also on previously published reports.
The authors speculate on a number of causes for this falloff but more research is needed. The significance of the falloff however cannot be underestimated. While these particles are small in size, there should be a tremendous number of them. This surprising lack of small particles what then leads to the conclusion that there isn't as much plastic in the oceans as was previously thought. Although the Fourth of July is over, there will still be plenty of fireworks around as some environmentalists go on the attack and some conservatives use this paper as kindling for their torches.