Plastic ‘continents’ — it’s worse than we thought.

You’ve no doubt heard of the “plastic gyres” — guy-erz? jih-erz? — in the oceans by now.  You know, those swirling “masses” of plastics pushed together by currents floating all over the planet?  Well, it seems the problem may be worse than we thought.  Maybe we should phrase that: “worse than some people had hoped”?

Plastic pollution has long been recognized as a problem in our oceans.  It threatens marine life and the delicate ecosystem of the reefs.  It also acts as a means to transport viruses and bacteria from one area of the world to another.  But now, science is learning these gyres (it’s pronounced “jih-erz”, by the way) are not holding together as once thought.  Instead, there are “exits” where currents pull the plastics away and send them off on their own.  Not that having them all together was a “good” thing, but this certainly doesn’t do anything to make a bad situation worse.

It’s up to us to control the amount of debris that ends up in our waterways and oceans.  It may be “just a bottle cap” when you drop it, but after a thousand or a million other bottle caps get dropped, then what?  It’s that age old dilemma: we want the world to change but we want everyone else to do it first.

To learn more about this new finding, please click here.

To learn what else you can do (beyond recycling, of course) to stop the problem of litter in our oceans, visit The 5 Gyres Institute.

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