Authors: Kaandorp, Mikael L. A. (57194851453); Lobelle, Delphine (36623727900); Kehl, Christian (55354167400); Dijkstra, Henk A. (7006710430); van Sebille, Erik (22636301500)

The fate of plastics that enter the ocean is a longstanding puzzle. Recent estimates of the oceanic input of plastic are one to two orders of magnitude larger than the amount measured floating at the surface. This discrepancy could be due to overestimation of input estimates, processes removing plastic from the surface ocean or fragmentation and degradation. Here we present a 3D global marine mass budget of buoyant plastics that resolves this discrepancy.

DIO: 10.1038/s41561-023-01216-0