"Plastic Soup" Found in Atlantic Ocean  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

CBS has a report that the Atlantic ocean may have an equivalent to the pacific ocean gyre - "Plastic Soup" Found in Atlantic Ocean.

Researchers are warning of a new blight on the ocean: a swirl of confetti-like plastic debris stretching over thousands of square miles in a remote expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.

The floating garbage - hard to spot from the surface and spun together by a vortex of currents - was documented by two groups of scientists who trawled the sea between scenic Bermuda and Portugal's mid-Atlantic Azores islands.

The studies describe a soup of micro-particles similar to the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a phenomenon discovered a decade ago between Hawaii and California that researchers say is likely to exist in other places around the globe.

"We found the great Atlantic garbage patch," said Anna Cummins, who collected plastic samples on a sailing voyage in February.

The debris is harmful for fish, sea mammals - and at the top of the food chain, potentially humans - even though much of the plastic has broken into such tiny pieces they are nearly invisible.

Since there is no realistic way of cleaning the oceans, advocates say the key is to keep more plastic out by raising awareness and, wherever possible, challenging a throwaway culture that uses non-biodegradable materials for disposable products.

2 comments

Bioplastics should be a major part of the solution to this ongoing plastics pollution problem.

Industrial hemp could be used for making bioplastics, as well as replacing wood based paper products. Henry Ford created a hemp based plastic car body that was incredibly strong, in the thirties. But it never was manufatured, because of the outrageuous ban on growing hemp, the most useful plant on earth.

Ditto friflyer. Industrial Hemp would go a very long way towards solving the plastics pollution problem, reduce deforestation and help solve our energy woes.

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