I’m so sorry for being inactive on the site. I’m finally really getting into it and getting motivated so here we go.
I would like to say that this week’s research was focused on a specific topic but honestly there was wide variety of things I looked into. That being said, I gathered a ton of information on plastic pollution in oceans and on land that I would like to bring light to.
There are five major garbage patches floating in three of our five oceans. In order of smallest to largest, there is one in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, in the Southern Pacific Ocean, in the Indian Ocean and the largest of them all is “The Great Pacific garbage patch, also described as the Pacific trash vortex, [which] is a gyre of marine debris particles in the central North[ern] Pacific Ocean”. (4) This patch of garbage is three times the size of France—if it’s easier to visualize—two times the size of British Columbia or over 3.3 times the size of Kenya.
What I found most fascinating was the direct effect plastics have on land, specifically in Hawaii.
On Hawaii’s Big Island, 15 percent of their sand is microplastic. (1) These small microplastics can actually form a type of rock called plastiglomerate. These rocks can form when plastic debris fuse—perhaps in a campfire—with sand, rocks, shells, and coral. (2)
Eventually, the layer of plastic spread around the world from the 1950’s onwards will form a noticeable line in sedimentary rock, (3) further supporting what Geologists conclude will become an enduring mark of our impact on the earth. (2)
Next week’s research will be geared more towards social behaviour; how we’ve adapted to ‘throw away living’ and how certain attitudes grow in parallel to plastic production. Over the weekend I’ll create a survey about personal plastic usage. I would highly appreciate your participation.
(1)Richard Thompson, National Geographic June 2018 page 49
(2)Jeff Elstone, National Geographic June 2018 page 50