There Are Plastic Islands in the Pacific Ocean You Can Walk On

#Environment

Thu, Aug 28th, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

The New York Times' Charles J. Moore just returned from a six-week trip from The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. He reports that the amount of plastic floating in the area has greatly increased to the point where there are actual plastic islands you can walk on.

The deleterious consequences of humanity’s “plastic footprint” are many, some known and some yet to be discovered. We know that plastics biodegrade exceptionally slowly, breaking into tiny fragments in a centuries-long process. We know that plastic debris entangles and slowly kills millions of sea creatures; that hundreds of species mistake plastics for their natural food, ingesting toxicants that cause liver and stomach abnormalities in fish and birds, often choking them to death. We know that one of the main bait fish in the ocean, the lantern fish, eats copious quantities of plastic fragments, threatening their future as a nutritious food source to the tuna, salmon, and other pelagic fish we consume, adding to the increasing amount of synthetic chemicals unknown before 1950 that we now carry in our bodies.

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