There’s more plastic than plankton in the ocean — about 6x more. Every piece of plastic ever made basically still exists; pieces break down but never decompose entirely. The impact of 100+ years of plastics production on our oceans is tragic, and seemingly unfixable. Heartbreaking (but tiny) video: Our Synthetic Sea.
Long list of resources on the topic of our plastinated oceans. The biggest problem are nurdles – the raw material used to make everything from CDs to plastic pipe. America alone produces 100 billion pounds of nurdles each year. In the ocean, they function as attractants for extremely high ratios of PCBs and other toxins. Since they look to fish and birds just like fish eggs, they are consumed by sea life in quantity. But while plastic in the oceans is a mixture of pre-consumer and post-consumer, “The American Plastics Council says the problem is not with the people who manufacture the material, but rather the people who use it.” In other words, litter.
Humans have a hubris that we can fix any problem we create. But it’s our belief that this is one problem we can’t fix. All we can do is stop polluting and hope the ocean will clean itself up in a few hundred years.
Send a message to your governor asking for support reducing the amount of garbage being legally dumped into oceans.