By guest blogger Noah Zeichner
UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #14 (Life Below Water) is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resource. While only a tiny portion of Goal 14’s targets address pollution, it is widely known that the problem is immense, if not catastrophic. On World Water Day this year, the journal Scientific Reports published a study that claims that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is four to sixteen times larger than first thought, covering an area about four times the size of California. The estimates now are that 87,000 tons of plastic debris are floating in the Pacific and that approximately 94% of the 1.8 million trillion pieces of plastic are microplastics. At the same time, more than three quarters of the total mass of the Garbage Patch were found to be much larger pieces of plastic. These larger pieces will likely break down into nearly invisible microplastics over time.
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