Total Mass of Plastic Particles Littering North Pacific Ocean Subtropical Gyre Estimated by Scientists with Sea Education Association

Chanelle Sladics

Posted on April 30 2014

Woods Hole, MA (PRWEB) April 24, 2014

An estimated 21,290 metric tons of plastic particles are currently floating in the North Pacific subtropical gyre, with a mass equivalent to 132 Boeing 747 airplanes or 120 blue whales. This estimate, the most complete and accurate evaluation of Pacific Ocean plastic pollution to date, comes from eleven years of plastic debris collection and the efforts of over 1,700 undergraduate students studying abroad with SEA Semester, operated by Sea Education Association (SEA) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. SEA Semester faculty and scientists, Dr. Kara Lavender Law, Dr. Erik Zettler, Dr. Deb Goodwin, and Skye Moret- in collaboration with colleagues- have recently analyzed and compiled this data into a research paper entitled “Distribution of Surface Plastic Debris in the Eastern Pacific Ocean from an 11-Year Data Set”, published in Environmental Science and Technology ( The paper is highlighted as an editor’s choice with the American Chemical Society today, 24 April 2014.

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