A new, more accurate assessment of the plastic trash in our planet’s oceans has arrived at the staggering figure of 269,000 tons (presumably metric). This is the result based on data from 24 ship expeditions around the globe over six years. These pieces of plastic, ranging down to sand-grain size and numbering at 5.25 trillion particles, threaten virtually every species that calls the ocean home. Their effects range from old fishing nets that ensnare dolphins and turtles to the tiny grains that absorb toxins and have tainted the food web from pole to pole. Reuters has an article on the development, here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/10/us-science-plastic-idUSKBN0JO24W20141210