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Seas of plastic

5.25 trillion pieces of plastic weighing more than 268,000 tonnes are floating around the world’s oceans.

And this is what it looks like.

Sailing Seas of Plastic is an interactive map of global marine plastic distribution created by New Zealand-based data viz team, Dumpark.

Zoom right in to see a single dot: this represents 20kg of floating plastic. Zoom out, and you'll see 13 million of these dots spread right across the world’s oceans.

One the interactive's stand-out features is that rather than tucking sources and methodology away in an endnote, they are given a prominent role in the visualization itself. Every one of the 24 sea expeditions that collected the data have also been visualized. 

Have a read of this blog post by Dumpark data scientist, Laurent Lebreton, to find out more.

Posted in Inspiration — about 8 years ago
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