A new article published this month in Journal of Great Lakes Research by graduate student Alex Driedger and Ecohydrology Research Group members Hans Dürr, Kristen Mitchell and Philippe Van Cappellen reviews the current state of knowledge of plastics pollution in the Laurentian Great Lakes.
Analysis of available survey data reveal that, in certain open water areas of the Great Lakes, surface water densities of plastics are as high as those reported for areas of litter accumulation within oceanic gyres. Data from volunteer beach cleanups further show that typically more than 80% of anthropogenic litter along the shorelines of the Great Lakes is comprised of plastics.
Driedger A.G.J., Dürr H., Mitchell K. and Van Cappellen P. (2015). Plastic debris in the Laurentian Great Lakes: A review. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41, 9-19. doi: 10.1016/j.jglr.2014.12.020.