Plastic pollution

Publication - 30 October, 2006
In past centuries on beaches everywhere, including those encircling the Hawaiian islands, beachcombing could be a profitable business, offering a potential treasure chest of material washed ashore from ships sailing the vast oceans. Today what is washed up on most beaches is far less appealing or rewarding and is only a small part of the massive amount of pollution that is dumped or flushed into the sea every year. The world’s largest marine reserve sits next to one of the world’s largest floating garbage dumps. Between Hawaii and the United States mainland is the North Pacific Gyre, the epicenter of a giant circulating system of winds and currents encompassing the whole North Pacific. Plastic pollution from Asia, the Pacific and North America is sucked into this area, where it mingles with sea life, choking and ensnaring marine wildlife, and disturbing every level of the food chain.

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Num. pages: 4