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WELCOME TO NEW OCEAN BLUE!
Garbage in the ocean gyres is on the rise. More and more plastics and waste products are making their way into the ocean everyday. While the plastic bag or bottle on the side of the road may look harmless, they actually have the capabilities to cause massive ecosystem destruction. This harms every creature on earth both indirectly and directly. That plastic bag may end up killing an innocent sea turtle or Albatross bird. Once it breaks into smaller particles, it may end up in a fish’s tissues on your plate.
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Fun (and Sad) Facts about Garbage Patches and Plastic:
- There are two garbage patches in the Atlantic Ocean, two in the Pacific Ocean, and one in the Indian Ocean. These do not include the other numerous waterways with excessive plastic pollution.
- Garbage Patches form due to currents in the water caused by the rotation of the earth.
- Plastic is photodegradable, not biodegradable. This means that the sun can break the plastic into smaller and smaller plastic particles, but plastic can never degrade all the way into a natural, harmless substance.
- Compostable plastics will not compost unless they are in proper conditions. Even if they are, compostable plastics take months to break down. If the compostable plastic does end up composting, you end up with toxic chemicals in your compost.
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been estimated to span from the California coast to the country of Japan.
- Many people believe garbage patches are garbage islands. This is false. In fact, the areas of the garbage patches with a high concentration of plastic (i.e. a lot of plastic in those areas) contain water that looks as if someone had thrown plastic confetti in the water. Some call it a plastic soup.
- About 2 million plastic water bottles are used every 5 minutes in North America as depicted in this photo by Chris Jordan. Click here to view the photo.
- A plastic bag is the number one consumer item.
- Plastic attracts extremely harmful chemicals that are now unfortunately in the ocean such as pesticides like DDT. Since plastics are lipophilic (having the ability to dissolve in fats/oils), they bring the harmful chemicals along into the body of the animal that ingested the plastic. This causes damage to the body and the health of the animal