Moore from Algalita on Marine Debris

plasticplankton

I heard rumors from TEDsters that there was a talk on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch presented just a few weeks back for the 2009 meeting. Excitingly, TED chose to post the video almost immediately.

Capt. Charles Moore’s presentation is short but effective in my opinion. He brings up keys points, like: “Less than 5% of total plastics ever make it into the recycling stream” with elegantly simple images that show the scope of our problem with marine debris. As always Algalita’s images of albatross chicks and their affinity for bottle caps seems to drive it all home. I pondered previously if we would start to see planktivores (from sardines to manta rays) begin to become contaminated with plastic sized plankton and Moore’s latest project signals an alarm on exactly that as well as frightening revelations about organic pollutants sorbed to the surfaces of such pelagic plastics. If any of this scares you, well, it should.

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