Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters

Source: The New York Times

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A photo collage of plastic fragments found in the Arctic Ocean by the research team. A study published Wednesday shows a major ocean current is carrying trillions of bits of plastic from the North Atlantic to the Greenland and Barents seas, and leaving them there. Credit Andres Cozar

The world’s oceans are littered with trillions of pieces of plastic — bottles, bags, toys, fishing nets and more, mostly in tiny particles — and now this seaborne junk is making its way into the Arctic.

In a study published Wednesday in Science Advances, a group of researchers from the University of Cádiz in Spain and several other institutions show that a major ocean current is carrying bits of plastic, mainly from the North Atlantic, to the Greenland and Barents seas, and leaving them there — in surface waters, in sea ice and possibly on the ocean floor.

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