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14 million tons of microplastics on seafloor, study finds

Findings show up to 25 times more microplastics than previous studies

Small bits of plastic break down into pieces only viable by microscopes, small enough to be carried by the wind around the planet.
Small bits of plastic break down into pieces only viable by microscopes, small enough to be carried by the wind around the planet. (Florida Sea Grant)

Plastic pollution has been found in the most remote regions of Earth.

New research shows a staggering amount may be sitting on the ocean floor.

An estimated 14 million metric tons of microplastics have accumulated on the seabed, more than 35 times as much plastic believed to be floating on the surface, according to a new study from Australia’s National Science Agency.

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Using a robotic submarine, researchers collected 51 samples of deep-sea sediments from sites off Australia’s coast.

Their findings show up to 25 times more microplastics than previous studies.