Widely-cited study did not show 95% of plastic in oceans comes from just 10 rivers

Updated on 12/07/2019 at 16:57

A misleading claim that 95 percent of the plastic debris in the world's oceans comes from only 10 rivers has been shared thousands of times on Facebook in Canada, in a meme and in videos. That figure, an incorrect interpretation of a 2017 study, has also been cited in numerous online publications in the past two years. But the study actually states 10 rivers are the source of 88 to 95 percent of the total plastic waste transported by rivers into oceans — not the global amount of plastic present in the oceans.