How many plastic bags are found in the ocean?

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 12.15.09 PMGrade level: 4 – 5th grades

Skills: Multiplication

Related environmental issues:Reduce, reuse & recycle

Area level: Global

Millions metric tons of plastic waste, such as plastic bottles and plastic bags, is found in found in the ocean every year.  It is as big as five plastic grocery bags found for every foot of coastline in the world.  The plastic waste kills millions of sea creatures in the ocean.

  1. How many grocery bags are found in 1 mile of coastline? (1mile = 5,280 foot)
  2. It is reported that the number of plastic waste will double by 2025. How many grocery bags will be found in 1 mile of coastline in 2025?

Source: New York Times (February 12, 2015)


Answer keys

  1. 26,400 bags (5,250 x 5 = 26,400)
  2. 52,800 bags (26,400 x 2 = 52,000)