Ocean plastic was first detected as far back as 1931 with old-fashioned metal boxes called continuous plankton recorders (CPRs).  The first recorded plastic caught by the CPR off the coast of Ireland was in 1965.

A study led by the researcher, Dr Clare Ostle from Plymouth’s Marine Biological Association, shows that there was ‘a significant and steady increase in ocean plastic since 1990’.

It appears that the number of plastic bags found in the ocean has decreased in recent years.  It is not clear whether this is related to legislated plastic bans and charges implemented in various countries around the world.

For more information: https://www.mba.ac.uk/fellows/cpr-survey

            The metal box that accidentally discovered the history of ocean plastics.

Source: Early ocean plastic litter traced to 1960s – BBC News