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Global distribution of microplastics

Marine plastic debris and microplastics (< 5 mm) make up around 75 per cent of the litter in the world’s oceans. They are damaging marine and coastal ecosystems throughout the world, with adverse impacts on societies and economies. Land-based activities produce most of the plastic in the oceans. Once in the ocean, current can transport plastic far away from its source. Source: E. van Sebille et al., A global inventory of small floating plastic debris, IOP Publishing, 2015; Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies; K. Lavender Law, Plastics in the Marine Environment, Annual Review of Marine Science, 2016; H. Ritchie and M. Roser, Plastic Pollution, Our World in Data, 2018; J. R. Jambeck et al., Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean, Science, 2015; R. Geyer et al., Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made, Science, 217; L. Lebreton, River plastic emissions to the world’s oceans, Nature Communications, 2017; The Ocean Cleanup; K. Martini, Where is the best place to put your ocean cleanup device? Not where currently proposed, Deep Sea News, 2016. Based on two maps from R. Pravettoni, Grid-Arendal, 2016.

Year: 2019

From collection: Global linkages – a graphic look at the changing Arctic (rev.1)

Cartographer: Riccardo Pravettoni and Philippe Rekacewicz

Tags: Arctic Climate Change vital graphics

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