Plastic in the North Atlantic has tripled since the 1960s
A scientific study measuring plankton accidentally recorded a decades-long rise in plastic pollution.
In 1957 it was a piece of trawling twine commonly used for fishing. In 1965 it was a plastic bag.
For more than 60 years, scientists in the U.K. have been collecting data on marine plastic, assembling one of the most comprehensive datasets on how much plastic has filtered into the North Atlantic ocean since it became a ubiquitous household item.
Publishing their findings in the journal Nature Communications Tuesday, the research team is the first to quantifiably confirm the drastic increase in ocean plastic since the 1990s.
Calculating the amount of plastic in the ocean is difficult. Many researchers and publications refer to a 2015 study in the journal Science that estimated anywhere from 4.8 to 12.7 trillion pieces of