"Ocean's Nasty Plastic Garbage Is Disappearing: What's Going On?"

"Plastic seems to be disappearing from the world's oceans, and scientists are not sure why.

Exposure to waves and radiation from the sun can cause plastics to break down into micro-fragments, but scientists say those fragments are stable and durable enough to last for hundreds of thousands of years.

And yet, in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers reports that 10,000 to 35,000 tons of plastic debris is floating on the surface of our oceans - significantly less than they expected to find.

After analyzing 3,070 samples of seawater from around the world, the researchers found that there has been no significant increase in the amount of plastic in the surface water of the world's oceans since the 1980s, even as the amount of plastic produced worldwide has more than quadrupled."

Deborah Netburn reports for the Los Angeles Times July 1, 2014.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014