My mother shared an article with me by Will Dunham from the Sun Sentinel published Thursday, December 18, 2014.
I wanted to pass the article on.
Made me blink twice.
Study: 269,000 tons of plastic littering oceans
By Will Dunham
(His words and I quote.)
There are plastic shopping bags, bottles, toys, toothbrushes, fishing gear, toilet seats and so much more. Plastic pollution is pervasive in the oceans.
Researchers unveiled last week what they called the most scientifically rigorous estimate of the amount of plastic litter in the oceans–about 269,000 tons–based on data from 24 ship expeditions around the globe over six years.
“There’s much more plastic pollution out there than recent estimates suggest,” said Marcus Eriksen, research director for the Los Angeles-based 5 Gyres Institute, which studies this kind of pollution.
“It’s everything you can imagine made of plastic,” added Eriksen, who led the study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. “It’s like Wal-Mart or Target set afloat.”
Experts have sounded the alarm in recent years over how plastic pollution is killing seabirds, marine mammals and other creatures while sullying ocean ecosystems.
Some plastic objects like discarded fishing nets kill by entangling dolphins, sea turtles and other animals. Plastic fragments also lodge in the throats and digestive tracts of marine animals.
The researchers said plastic litter enters the oceans from rivers and heavily populated coastal regions as well as from vessels navigating shipping lanes.
Larger plastic objects, abundant near coastlines, often float into the world’s five subtropical gyres–big regions of spinning currents in the North and South Pacific, North and South Atlantic and Indian oceans.
The study estimated there are 5.25 trillion particles of plastic litter. The researchers said the particles absorb chemical pollutants and the toxins enter marine food webs when ingested by fish and other sea creatures.
And we eat the fish.
Said by me.