Saturday, April 17, 2010

Plastic garbage patches all over the oceans.

I'm sure you've all heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Well, there's another one in the Atlantic Ocean. These might not be the only two, either.

The problem is that plastics were designed to last forever but then used to make products designed to be thrown away. Much of the plastic trash we generate on land flows into our oceans through storm drains and watersheds. It falls from garbage and container trucks, spills out of trashcans, or is tossed carelessly.

At sea, floating plastics are swept up into slowly moving currents. These currents are called gyres. Most of the research on plastic trash circulating in oceanic gyres has focused on the North Pacific, but there are 5 major oceanic gyres worldwide, with several smaller gyres in Alaska and Antarctica. Marine researchers don’t yet know the extent to which plastic pollution exists in the world’s oceans.

We've GOT to stop using plastics!

This is my contribution to National Environmental Education Week.

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