FINALLY - the Truth about Plastics & the Environment
By Dr. Chris DeArmitt FRSC FIMMM
World-class plastic materials scientist
That was news to me. She is saying that there is so little plastic in the so-called patches that you can’t even tell they are there. So I went looking for peer-reviewed scientific studies to find out just how much plastic there really is. I found a study giving an overview of several studies covering all the patches. It turns out that scientists have been studying these areas for decades and millions of measurements have been made. What do the scientists report about the concentration of plastic fragments? The scientists show that the average amount of plastic in the oceans overall is around 10g per square kilometer. That’s about 1 ounce of plastic per square mile of ocean. I was surprised at how little that was.
Clearly, we don’t want litter of any kind in our oceans but the amount seemed remarkably low compared to what I expected from media coverage. The data showed that there is far more plastic in the patches, but how much more? Looking at all the studies, the worst areas contain 500g of plastic per square kilometer of ocean on average and at most around 1000g per square kilometer. That’s about 2-4lb per square mile of ocean. It’s hard to imagine a square kilometer, so let’s pick an area we can relate to. An Olympic swimming pool measures 50m x 25m which is 0.00125 square kilometers in surface area. That means that if we were to drop a 5g plastic die from a board game into an Olympic pool, that would be more plastic than we find in the same amount of ocean.
We are also told that the ocean plastic is accumulating at an ever increasing pace. Is that true? Scientists have been tracking the trends for several decades. This is what they have to say:
“A study of plastic microdebris in waters from the British Isles to Iceland (5) revealed a statistically significant increase in plastic abundance from the 1960s and 1970s to the 1980s and 1990s. However, similar to this study, no significant increase was observed between the later decades despite a large increase in plastic production and disposal.”
So, contrary to what we have been told, there is no upward trend – the evidence exposes yet another lie
Book Speaking Engagements:
- Have an independent expert explain to your customers why plastics are the solution and not the problem
- Chris can make your employees proud to work with plastics, rather than be ashamed
- Dr. DeArmitt can help you push back against unjust attacks on your company
- Showing the evidence can convince owners and shareholders that your company is on the right course
- Presenting the science can help change public opinion and government policy