↓ Skip to main content

Plastic Pollution in the World's Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea

Overview of attention for article published in PLoS ONE, December 2014
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#4 of 118,506)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Readers on

mendeley
1073 Mendeley
citeulike
1 CiteULike
Title
Plastic Pollution in the World's Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea
Published in
PLoS ONE, December 2014
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0111913
Pubmed ID
Authors

Marcus Eriksen, Laurent C. M. Lebreton, Henry S. Carson, Martin Thiel, Charles J. Moore, Jose C. Borerro, Francois Galgani, Peter G. Ryan, Julia Reisser

Abstract

Plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the marine environment, yet estimates of the global abundance and weight of floating plastics have lacked data, particularly from the Southern Hemisphere and remote regions. Here we report an estimate of the total number of plastic particles and their weight floating in the world's oceans from 24 expeditions (2007-2013) across all five sub-tropical gyres, costal Australia, Bay of Bengal and the Mediterranean Sea conducting surface net tows (N = 680) and visual survey transects of large plastic debris (N = 891). Using an oceanographic model of floating debris dispersal calibrated by our data, and correcting for wind-driven vertical mixing, we estimate a minimum of 5.25 trillion particles weighing 268,940 tons. When comparing between four size classes, two microplastic <4.75 mm and meso- and macroplastic >4.75 mm, a tremendous loss of microplastics is observed from the sea surface compared to expected rates of fragmentation, suggesting there are mechanisms at play that remove <4.75 mm plastic particles from the ocean surface.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 1,136 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 1,073 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 14 1%
Brazil 7 <1%
United Kingdom 6 <1%
Germany 5 <1%
Spain 5 <1%
Belgium 4 <1%
India 4 <1%
France 4 <1%
Portugal 4 <1%
Other 28 3%
Unknown 992 92%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 279 26%
Student > Master 254 24%
Student > Ph. D. Student 169 16%
Researcher 166 15%
Student > Postgraduate 54 5%
Other 151 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 334 31%
Environmental Science 330 31%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 82 8%
Engineering 76 7%
Unspecified 52 5%
Other 199 19%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2649. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 19 November 2017.
All research outputs
#167
of 8,665,212 outputs
Outputs from PLoS ONE
#4
of 118,506 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#8
of 243,398 outputs
Outputs of similar age from PLoS ONE
#1
of 2,533 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,665,212 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 118,506 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.9. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 243,398 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 2,533 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.