Plastic: The Real Sea Monster
Plastic floats. This is where our story begins. Millions of tons enter the ocean every year, pouring out from rivers and shores, ships and platforms. The worlds scientists have studied the phenomenon and come to alarming results. Plastic contains synthetic hormones that are released when plastic breaks down into tiny particles through wind, waves and exposure to the sun. Once in seawater, plastic absorbs toxic substances known as POPs, or persistent organic pollutants. This process allows toxins to accumulate in a density a million times higher than normal. What happens when fish and seabirds mistake the plastic for food? Scientists have found evidence that these toxins are entering the food chain, and ultimately winding up in our bodies. Worse still, plastic doesnt biodegrade. Instead, it becomes trapped in massive maelstroms of garbage. Scientists have identified five of these so-called gyres. A few of them are larger than Spain and Portugal combined. The worlds biggest dumps are at sea. This is what we kno
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