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    This data describes the characterisation and estimated concentration of marine plastics in waters around Australia from surface net tows. The marine plastics recorded were predominantly small fragments (‘‘microplastics’’) resulting from the breakdown of larger objects made of polyethylene and polypropylene (e.g. packaging and fishing items). This data accompanies the following publication: Reisser J, Shaw J, Wilcox C, Hardesty BD, Proietti M, et al. (2013) Marine Plastic Pollution in Waters around Australia: Characteristics, Concentrations, and Pathways. PLoS ONE 8(11): e80466. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080466