Table 1.

Range of the global load of plastic debris in surface waters of the open ocean

Plastic debris, kilotonsNorth Pacific OceanNorth Atlantic OceanIndian OceanSouth Atlantic OceanSouth Pacific OceanTotal
Low estimate2.31.00.81.70.86.6
Mid estimate4.82.72.22.62.114.4
High estimate12.46.75.15.45.635.2
  • Loads by ocean were estimated from the low, mid, and high ranges of plastic concentration measured within major regions in relation to the degree of surface convergence (nonaccumulation zone, outer accumulation zone, and inner accumulation zone). The ranges of plastic concentration by zones are shown in Fig. 2.