The ‘great Pacific garbage patch’ where millions of tons of plastic has accumulated after being dumped in the seas might not be alone, scientists have warned.
An attempt to locate the millions of tons of plastic dumped into the sea has concluded that 99.99% of the waste is ‘missing’.
Up to 10 million tons of plastic are thought to be dumped in the sea each year, the Newcastle University researchers warned.
There could be more unseen ‘patches’ including one in the Gulf of Guinea off Nigeria’s coast.
Other accumulations of plastic could lurk on the bottom of the ocean, where it could have dire effects on sea life, experts have warned.
Alethea Mountford, a PhD Student at Newcastle University said, ‘There’s a need to find the unaccounted for plastic in the ocean mainly because if we don’t know the extent of the problem, then there’s no way of knowing the potential implications it has.
‘Once the plastics reach the water column, the greatest impact would be on marine organisms through ingestion and entanglement.’