A Toxic Plastic Ocean

A young man points out a large ball of styrofoam debris (c) Katsuhiko Saido, via sciencedaily.com

A young man points out a large ball of styrofoam debris (c) Katsuhiko Saido, via sciencedaily.com

The North Pacific gyre is home to the aptly named Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Although conservation and marine science has known about the existence of this strange amalgamation of human plastic waste for several years, not much is know about its true size, the structure of the debris it contains, or the impact on marine life within this veritable floating island of trash. Scripps Institute of Oceanography, based in La Jolla, CA, recently sent out an RV and a staff of graduate students and scientists to survey the Patch. It’ll be interesting to see what their research ultimately has to say about the area. Of course the initial reactions are the same predictable ones we’ve all been lamenting as a chorus line for several years now: “Finding so much plastic there was shocking. How could there be this much plastic floating in a random patch of ocean a thousand miles from land?”

Of course its not exactly a random location.. but I digress (it is just a quote afterall).  At least someone is out there taking a deeper look! ScienceDaily also recently posted an account about the potential for hazardous toxic chemicals leaching from plastic waste into our saltwater life support system.

Advertisements

One Comment to “A Toxic Plastic Ocean”

  1. It’s always a heart breaker to see litter along beautiful stretches of nature, whether inland or coastal. If only we could find a way to be more sustainable …