Ocean plastic is drawing huge amounts of international attention. We have all been told about the huge floating islands of plastics the size of countries (three times the size of Spain).
National Ocean Service (NOAA) explained that these areas are not fixed: they are always moving and changing with the currents, and the problem is mostly related with tiny plastics that you can’t immediately see with the naked eye.
So, apparently, there are no floating islands, instead, there are areas that contain tiny pieces of plastic mixed throughout the water column.
For this reason using ships to scoop up marine pollution does not work.
Plastic residues with a density higher than 1g x cm3 are destined to sink and therefore impossible to recover. Only the less dense plastic residues float and therefore could be collected, of course only if s not yet degraded into micro particles.
The point is that we have to prevent debris from entering the ocean at the source, so that bottles, trays, but also plastic objects such as flip-flops turn into microplastics that are impossible to collect.
The scientists show that the average amount of plastic in the oceans overall is around 10g per square kilometer, the worst areas contain 500g of plastic per square kilometer of ocean on average and at most around 1000g per square kilometer (less than a 5g plastic die from a board game into an Olympic pool).
A new study says that the amount of plastic entering the oceans was overestimated by between 100 and 1000 times!
We are also told that ocean plastic is accumulating at an ever-increasing pace. Is that true? Scientists have been tracking the trends for several decades.
A study of plastic micro debris in waters from the British Isles to Iceland revealed a statistically significant increase in plastic abundance from the 1960s to the 1990s and no significant increase was observed between the later decades despite a large increase in plastic production and disposal.
Spending some time checking to see what pollution there is in our oceans we would find that millions of tons of munitions were dumped there including chemical weapons and nerve gas.
So please, if we want (and we want) to protect our life and environment, we have to understand which are the enemy we have to fight first.
Source: The Plastic Paradox