Plastics may pose a greater threat than climate change – World – NZ Herald News

Plastics are now one of the most common pollutants of ocean waters. Pushed by winds, tides and currents, particles collect with other debris to form large, swirling, glue-like accumulation zones.These are known to oceanographers as “gyres”, which comprise as much as 40 per cent of the planets ocean surface, said Captain Moore, who founded the Algalita Marine Research Institute in Long Beach, California.In a previous study of southern Californias urban centres, he calculated that they spilled 2.3 billion pieces of plastic – from polystyrene foam to tiny fragments and pellets – into the areas coastal waters in just three days of monitoring.Once in the sea, the plastics biodegrade extremely slowly, breaking into minute pieces in a centuries-long process. They entangle and slowly kill millions of sea creatures, and hundreds of species mistake them for food, ingesting toxicants that cause liver and stomach problems in fish and birds, and often choke them.”We suspect that more animals are killed by vagrant plastic waste than by even climate change – a hypothesis that needs to be seriously tested,” Captain Moore said.

via Plastics may pose a greater threat than climate change – World – NZ Herald News.

Author: Makere

A Maori/Scots New Zealander transplanted to Canada. Grandmother, academic, indigenous scholar, sometime singer, sometime activist, who cares passionately about our world.