Paris — The vast dump of plastic waste swirling in the Pacific Ocean is now bigger than France, Germany and Spain combined — far larger than previously feared — and is growing rapidly, a study published on Thursday warned. Researchers based in the Netherlands used a fleet of boats and aircraft to scan the immense accumulation of bottles, containers, fishing nets and micro-particles known as the "great Pacific garbage patch" (GPGP) and found an astonishing build-up of plastic waste. "We found about 80,000 tonnes of buoyant plastic currently in the GPGP," Laurent Lebreton, lead author of the study published in the journal Scientific Reports, told AFP. That’s about the weight of 500 jumbo jets, and up to 16 times greater than the plastic mass uncovered there in previous studies. But what really shocked the team was the amount of plastic pieces that have built up on the marine gyre between Hawaii and California in recent years. They found that the dump now contains about 1.8-trillion pi...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now