Charles Moore is an oceanographer that spent over a decade investigating the Pacific Ocean. On February 23 he returned from a 5 weeks successful research voyage with terrifying results. Apparently a “garbage island” twice the size of the United States located, located between California, Hawaii and Japan is full of plastics and is held in place by underwater currents.
Warning Sign for Water Quality – picture by Heal the Bay
The samples Moore took from the 2.5 million square miles plastic dump showed that there’s 6 times more plastic than plankton. It’s a a fivefold increase in the amount of plastic between 1997 and 2007. The most common things found are consumer leftovers like plastic bags, bottles and their caps, fast food wrappers or toys.
As GreenTechBlog mentions this kind of pollution can cause damage in many ways. Millions of fish and birds die ever year because they consider plastic as food or we could be faced with an accelerating global warming because the CO2-sucking plankton may not grow naturally anymore. Another important effect is that marine life could be contaminated with PCBs and other toxins plastic contains.
Plastic pollution is a serious problem but considering the size of it Moore said that there’s no technological solution to clean the ocean life. The Pacific plastic dump is unfixable he said so the only thing we can do is to prevent from adding more.