Plastic in the ocean has been a popular topic for the past few years, probably most famously around the Pacific Garbage patch but the issue of plastic straws and bags hasn’t escaped notice either. This isn’t a new issue though, turns out we’ve been tossing trash in the ocean since the sixties.
We didn’t mean to track this but as it turns out, while we were keeping track of plankton, scientists were also creating a handy log of how much garbage was getting mixed into the ocean. The first recorded evidence was a humble plastic bag but there was more to follow.
The records show that there was an uptick in garbage in the 90s. On the good news side, there are have been less plastic bags found recently. Although if that is due to bans, lifestyle changes or other factors, is not clear. Still, this has been a problem for a long time!