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Monitoring this plastic can be very difficult from Earth’s surface, as it is impossible to see much of the ocean at once. But satellites with very high-resolution cameras and wide fields of view are changing our ability to monitor plastic waste, and ESA's Discovery & Preparation is supporting studies that investigate the best way of doing so.
The map of plastic concentrations is based on a graphic in 'A global inventory of small floating plastic debris' by Erik van Sebille et al. The map of plastic transportation is based on an Infobase Publishing map.