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Published on Aug 17, 2019
Plastic Sea - 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 world’s 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 doesn’t 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 world’s biggest dumps are at sea. This is what we know so far. But many questions remain. Scientists have noticed that the amount of plastic in the gyres has remained constant for the past twenty years, leaving millions of tons unaccounted for. Where has the plastic gone? The world’s scientists are on the verge of solving a mystery that might uncover one of the biggest ecological disasters of our times.
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