Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Pacific Garbage Patch - Plastic Soup of the Sea

Some of you may have heard about the giant garbage island the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii. I don't really like that analogy because it brings to mind a garbage heap on land...something tangible that could be picked up. Better imagery would be this: Take a plastic coke bottle and put it into a blender; blend until the pieces are teeny tiny. Now pour those coke bottle fragments and particles into a glass of water. No imagine this plastic particle soup covering the surface of the ocean. This can never be cleaned up. Never. Fish and other ocean life eat these particles and the accumulate them (bioaccumulates) in fat tissues, then we eat these animals as consumers. We are all consuming these pollutants on a daily basis. Now drink the glass of water.

Truth is, my analogy doesn't do justice to what these filmmakers found during their trip into the North Pacific Gyre. While I highly recommend watching the entire documentary from the beginning (as it is much more potent and powerful as a whole), I realize that most people suffer from short attention spans, so below is the most effective & informative clip. Enjoy.

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