The ongoing devastation to the oceans and our environment caused by plastic trash in all its forms continues at an alarming rate. Our oceans are becoming little more than sewers for the world’s refuge.
Millions of tons of plastic debris and trash are now occupying 5 Gyres in the oceans. We knew about the Pacific Gyre , twice the size of Texas, only last year did we start hearing about the other four massive Gyres.
It is estimated that there could be hundreds of millions of tons of plastic rubbish floating in the world’s oceans. In Japan alone, it is calculated that 150,000 tons of plastic is washed up on its shores each year.
According to a recent article in National Geographic News, 44 percent of all seabirds eat plastic, apparently by mistake, sometimes with fatal effects. And 267 marine species are affected by plastic garbage—animals are known to swallow plastic bags, which resemble jellyfish in mid-ocean, for example—according to a 2008 study in the journal Environmental Research by oceanographer and chemist Charles Moore, of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation.
Plastic hits marine creatures with a double whammy, Moore said. Along with the toxic chemicals released from the breakdown of plastic, animals also take in other chemicals that the plastic has accumulated from outside sources in the water.
“We knew ten years ago that plastic could be a million times more toxic than the seawater itself,” because plastic items tend to accumulate a surface layer of chemicals from seawater, Moore said. “They’re sponges.”
Oprah’s Earth Day shows have been a powerful means of focusing on this unnecessary man made plastic nightmare.