Between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons of plastic washed offshore in 2010, according to a study published in Science Magazine last week. Hoping to pinpoint the origins of the plastic waste floating in swathes across the world's oceans, University of Georgia environmental engineer Jenna Jambeck and a team of researchers calculated the amount of plastic each of the world's 192 coastal countries ended up dumping in the water (out of the 275 million metric tons of plastic they generated in total). The number one culprit was China, responsible for 5 billion pounds of plastic debris that entered the ocean in 2010.


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