Just in time for Earth Day: The 5 Gyres Project has news and videos of even more plastic trash circulating in the North Atlantic Ocean. The researchers found a soup of garbage in the Sargaso Sea – an area from Bermuda to the Azores Island – that contained stew of floating trash similar to the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation in Long Beach, CA claims that “Humanity’s plastic footprint is probably more dangerous than its carbon footprint.”
Moore is credited with discovering the Pacific garbage patch in 1997. He says the Atlantic Ocean contain as much or more plastic debris. Because the Atlantic is stormier, debris there most likely have been diffused, he said.
Algalita is one of the sponsors of this latest scientific efforts.
The industrial world generates large amounts of plastic debris that end up in the oceans: odd pieces of plastics thrown carelessly overboard, fishing lines and nets, container ship losses and all the junk carried by rivers and streams into the ocean.
Also high levels of plastic debris has been found in seabirds (Albatross, Sooty-Shearwaters etc.) gizzards.
What we know
• Plastic water bottles take 450 years to decompose
• Fishing lines and nets can take up to 600 years to decompose.
• Plastic bags or balloons in the ocean are dangerous. (They can look like a jellyfish meal to a sea turtle)
What we all can do:
• Reduce your use of disposable plastic products
• Reuse and recycle what you can.
• Buy reuseable grocery bags to cut down on plastic bag use.
• Tell others about the dangers of marine debris.
• Pick up litter.
• Volunteer for beach and stream clean-ups.
• Remind others not release balloons into the atmosphere.
San Francisco Chronicle: A 2nd garbage patch: Plastic soup seen in Atlantic
The 5 Gyres Project