10 Ways To Help Keep Plastic Out Of Our Oceans
You've read about all the scary things out there in our oceans; Somali pirates, rogue waves, but how about the real dangers? Plastic.
Imagine the massive breadth and spread of our great state of Texas. Now imagine every milli-inch of that piled high with trash: bottle caps, cigarettes, cigarette lighters, tampon applicators, plastic nets, discarded flip flops, Frisbees, soda bottles, milk jugs, diapers, six-pack rings, busted tennis rackets, empty pens, shampoo bottles, empty squeeze bottles of jam, you name it. Now take that image, double it, and plunk into the water.
That’s what is floating around the eastern corner of a 10-million-square-mile oval known as the North Pacific subtropical gyre. Nicknamed the “Eastern Garbage Patch,” this buoyant stew of toxic pollution—most of which is plastic—is only one of five such garbage heaps caught in the swirling high-pressure currents characteristic of gyres. The others reside in the South Pacific, the North and South Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean. And each year, perhaps unwittingly, each one of us adds to plastic to the heap.
Cruisers and sailors are generally more environmentally aware than landlubbers, but if we're not onboard, we tend to resort to our old comforts and that includes using too much plastic.
Photo: Turtle caught in plastic ring (courtesy Dino Ferri, Audubon Institute)
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