Fifty-fold increase of microplastics in the ocean by 2100 | Flanders Marine Institute

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Fifty-fold increase of microplastics in the ocean by 2100

Oostende (2018.09.12) - By 2100, every cubic metre of ocean water will contain 10-50 free-floating particles of microplastic, or fifty times more than at present. Although average concentrations still fall within safe concentration values (6650 particles/m3) calculated for ocean ecosystems, local exceedings of this threshold are already taking place and will become more common. Inshore, harbour and beach sediments are of particular concern.

Press release by: Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)

The study ‒ carried out by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), University of Gent and Wageningen University, and published in Environmental Pollution ‒ is the first to calculate global loads and impact of microplastics on the world ocean, during this century:

Everaert G., L. Van Cauwenberghe, M. De Rijcke, A. Koelmans, J. Mees, M. Vandegehuchte & C. Janssen (2018). ‘Risk assessment of microplastics in the ocean: modelling approach and first conclusions’ – Environmental Pollution (
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The infographic ‒ displaying the key figures and pathways:

(2018). Marine microplastics: how many is too many for our ocean?. Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ): Oostende. 1 sheet pp.
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Press contact

Dr. Jan Seys (press officicer, VLIZ) | +32-(0)478-37 64 13

Dr. Gert Everaert (lead researcher, VLIZ)
| +32-(0)477-44 55 83