Million tons of Microplastic pollution in the Atlantic Ocean 

  • IASbaba
  • August 22, 2020
  • 0
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Million tons of Microplastic pollution in the Atlantic Ocean 

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-III – Environment

In News:

  • A study was published in ‘Nature Communications’ about micro plastic pollution in the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • The pollution is put at 11.6-21.1 million tonnes. 

Key takeaways 

  • Top 200 meters of the Atlantic was measured. 
  • Pollution caused by three types of plastics was studied – polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene. 
  • These are most commonly used for packaging.
  • Both inputs and stocks of ocean plastics may be much higher than determined.
  • Assessment across all sizes and polymer groups is important to determine the danger of plastic pollution. 

Important value additions 


  • It is a synthetic organic polymer made from petroleum. 
  • Applications
    • Packaging
    • Building and construction
    • Household and sports equipment 
    • Vehicles 
    • Electronics 
    • Agriculture
  • It is cheap, lightweight, strong and malleable.
  • Sources of Marine Plastic
    • Land-based and storm runoff
    • Sewer overflows
    • Beach visitors 
    • Inadequate waste disposal 
  • Impact of Plastic Pollution 
    • Ingestion, suffocation and entanglement of hundreds of marine species.
    • The transfer of contaminants between marine species and humans through seafood consumption. 
    • Contribution to global warming

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