Clearing up plastic waste near coasts is more effective than in deep oceans, study finds

Clearing up plastic waste near coasts is more effective than in deep oceans, study finds

A research has discovered that clearing up plastic waste across coasts is more effective as compared to deep oceans. Oceanographer Dr. Erik van Sebille and physics student Peter Sherman carried out analysis as per which the Great Pacific garbage patch-targeted cleanup isn't the most efficient way of making the oceans free from plastic waste.

Rivers and sewers' floating plastic waste like fibers, bags, caps, bottles and 'microbeads' get dispersed into the oceans, whereas the larger ones break down. Plastic waste can exist for thousands of years and marine life can ingest it, resulting into death, disturbance in the ecosystems, and obstruction into the food chain.

Researchers from Imperial College London analyzed the appropriately called Great Pacific garbage patch, located in the North Pacific open sea. The region is surrounded by currents, which concentrate the microplastics in one place.

Today, the patch is considered twice larger than the United Kingdom. The Ocean Cleanup project has gained attention across the world. The project is planning to send collectors into the patch for the collection of plastic waste and ships for dragging it.

Sherman added that though the Great Pacific garbage patch is a house to huge mass of microplastics, the largest flow of plastics can be discovered off coasts. The journal Environmental Research Letters carried the research on January 19.

Dr. van Sebille said, “It makes sense to remove plastics where they first enter the ocean around dense coastal economic and population centers where there is a lot of marine life”. Using this method, the plastic waste can be cleared before they can do any harm. The ones present in the patch have already traveled a long distance, causing harm along the way.