An extrapolation from data acquired by a recent global sampling expedition by research ships suggests 7,000 to 35,000 thousand tons of plastic debris is floating in the world's oceans, much less than the estimated 1 million tons data going back as far as the 1970s would suggest should have been found, experts said.
Two Spanish research ships collected more than 3,000 samples from 141 ocean sites during a global cruise of more than 30,000 nautical miles.
While several theories have been put forward for the discrepancy in numbers, the most likely one -- and the most worrisome, researchers say -- is that the debris is slowly sinking into the ocean depths.
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