Scientists have found that a particular area of the North Atlantic Ocean attracts plastic debris and other trash, leaving the region comparable to the Pacific’s “great garbage patch”. “Kara Lavender Law of the Sea Education Association told the BBC that the issue of plastics had been ‘largely ignored’ in the Atlantic. She announced the findings of a two-decade-long study at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, US. The work is the conclusion of the longest and most extensive record of plastic marine debris in any ocean basin. Scientists and students from the SEA collected plastic and marine debris in fine mesh nets that were towed behind a research vessel. The nets dragged along were half-in and half-out of the water, picking up debris and small marine organisms from the sea surface. The researchers carried out 6,100 tows in areas of the Caribbean and the North Atlantic – off the coast of the US. More than half of these expeditions revealed floating pieces of plastic on the water surface. These were pieces of low-density plastic that are used to make many consumer products, including plastic bags. Dr Lavender Law said that the pieces of plastic she and her team picked up in the nets were generally very small – up to 1cm across.”
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