More than 171 trillion pieces of plastic are now estimated to be floating in the world’s oceans, according to scientists. Plastic kills fish and sea animals and takes hundreds of years to break down into less harmful materials. The concentration of plastics in the oceans has increased from 16 trillion pieces in 2005 and could nearly triple by 2040 if no action is taken. The highest concentration of ocean plastic is currently in the Mediterranean Sea, with some large floating masses found elsewhere including the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the Yellow Sea. Solutions should focus on reducing the amount of plastic produced and used, rather than cleaning up oceans and recycling plastics because this is less likely to stop the flow of pollution.