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Posted Thu Jan 27 2011: from Earth Institute:
Our Oceans: A Plastic Soup
In any case, plastic marine debris is now found on the surface of every ocean on Earth.... Some plastic and marine debris comes from fishing gear, offshore oil and gas platforms, and ships. But 80 percent of it comes from the land--litter that gets stuck in storm drains and is washed into rivers and out to sea, the legal and illegal dumping of garbage and appliances, and plastic resin pellets inadvertently spilled and unloaded by plastic manufacturers. Trash Travels, Ocean Conservancy's 2010 report, states that 60 percent of all marine debris in 2009 consisted of "disposable" items, with the most common being cigarettes, plastic bags, food containers, bottle caps and plastic bottles. And no matter where the litter originates, once it reaches the ocean, it becomes a planetary problem as garbage travels thousands of miles carried by the gyres.... The majority of the plastic found in the ocean are tiny pieces less than 1 cm. in size, with the mass of 1/10 of a paper clip.
[Read more stories about: plastic gyre, plastic problems, PCBs, koyaanisqatsi]
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