Ocean plastics is one of the most pernicious problems facing the ocean. One-time use plastics, which, ironically, can persist for thousands of years, often find themselves carried downstream, settling on our beaches, our coastlines, and in large aggregations within oceanic gyres. We’re still trying to cope with the extent to which plastics, and particularly microplastics–tiny photodegraded plastic particles, impact marine ecosystems. Earlier this year, ocean plastics made major waves when it was reported that not only do we not know how much damage they really cause, but we don’t even know where most of them go: 99% of the plastic that should be in the ocean is missing.
It looks like we found the missing plastic.