choking the oceans with plastic - super absorbent polymer manufacturers in the world
LOS ANGELES —
Plastic is everywhere in the world.
It's on our cars and carpets and we wrap it around the food we eat and almost all the other products we consume;
It has become an important lubricant for globalization.
But it kills our future in a way that most of us barely realize.
I just came back with a team of six-week scientists to do research in the Pacific garbage patch
One of the five garbage belts, drifting in the ocean north and south of the equator, at the latitude of our land desert.
While this was my tenth voyage to the area, I was very shocked to see a sharp increase in the amount of plastic waste since my last trip in 2009.
A variety of plastics, from toothbrushes to tires, to countless pieces of unrecognizable debris, are floating hundreds of miles on our marine research ship Alguita.
We even came across a floating island with dozens of plastic floats for oyster farming that you can walk on the island.
Plastic is now one of the most common contaminants in the world's marine waters.
Driven by wind, tide and water flow, plastic particles, together with other debris, form a huge rotating viscous stacking zone, known as gyres by oceanologists, accounting for 40% of the surface of the Earth's oceans
About 25% of the Earth.
No scientist, environmental activist, entrepreneur, national or international government agency is able to establish a comprehensive way to recycle the plastic waste that covers our land, which will inevitably scratch into the sea.
In a 2010 study in Los Angeles and the San Gabriel River, my colleagues and I estimated about 2.
3 billion pieces of plastic
From polystyrene foam to tiny pieces and particles
In just three days of sampling, the city center of Southern California flows into coastal waters.
There are many harmful consequences of human "plastic footprint", some are known, some are not yet discovered.
We know that the degradation of plastic is very slow and will break down into tiny pieces in a few centuries. long process.
We know that plastic debris will wrap around and slowly kill millions of marine life;
Hundreds of species mistake plastic for their natural food, and take in toxic substances that cause abnormal liver and stomach conditions in fish and birds, often choking them to death.
We know that one of the main bait fish in the ocean, the lantern fish, eating a large amount of plastic debris threatens their future as a source of tuna, salmon nutritious food, and the other ocean fish we eat increases the amount of synthetic chemicals that we now carry in our bodies that were unknown before 1950.
We suspect that stray plastic waste is more than the animals killed by climate change.
Assumptions that need to be carefully tested.
On a recent voyage, we studied the effects of pollution, and when looking for invasive species and plastic, we took blood and liver samples from fish
Related contaminants that cause abnormal protein and hormones.
While we hope that our research will make an important contribution to scientific knowledge, they cover only a small part of the broader problem.
The fact is that only synthetic fragments are prevented
Most of them are disposable plastic.
From the beginning to the ocean, the plastic load of the ocean will be significantly reduced. Clean-
The Up plan is quite a bit, but has never been implemented at the garbage station.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration supports environmental groups that remove debris from beaches. But thesieve-
Like the skimmers they use, no matter how complex the technology is, it will never be possible to clean up remote garbage cycles: chaotic oceans are scattered and mixed too much.
Aquaculture uses a large amount of plastic in its fish floats, nets, fish lines and fish tubes, making the problem more complex.
The most common floats and tubes I found on the deep sea and the Hawaiian beach come from the huge ocean --
Sea urchins and oyster farms like creating oysters-
The floating boat island we found
On March 11, 2011, the tsunami struck Japan and the buoys were torn from their berths.
However, there is no regulatory remedy for accidental loss and the large amount of plastic equipment in the storm.
Despite dozens of pages of standards, government and industry organizations claim to certify sustainably farmed seafood without mentioning lost and floating equipment.
Governments that are properly concerned about the depletion of marine food sources should ensure that plastics on cages, buoys and other equipment used in aquaculture do not flow into the waters.
But, in the end, the real challenge is to crack down on an economic model based on waste of products and packaging and leave relevant cleaning issuesup costs.
Changing the way we produce and consume plastics is more challenging than limiting the production of carbon dioxide.
Plastic recycling is a nightmare.
It's hard for them to clean.
They can melt at low temperatures, so impurities do not evaporate.
There is no difference between whether synthetic polymers like polyethylene come from oil or plants;
It is still a persistent pollutant.
Biodegradable plastics exist, but the manufacturers quickly point out that marine biodegradable does not mean "one-off oceans ".
Scientists in Britain and the Netherlands have proposed reducing plastic pollution through a "circular economy.
"The basic concept is that the product must use Terminal design. of-
Return to life in your mind.
They propose a pre-bike premium to provide incentives to eliminate the possibility that products will become waste.
In the United States, especially in California, the focus has been on
Known as structural control, such as covering ditches and catch pools with a screen.
This reduces the amount of debris flowing from the river to the sea.
Activists around the world are lobbying to ban the most polluted plastics.
Bottles, bags and containers for transporting food and drinks.
Many people have succeeded.
In California, nearly 100 cities have passed a ban on disposable plastic bags, and the Senate is considering a statewide ban.
Before we cut the flow of plastic into the ocean, the latest global threat to our human age will only get worse. Charles J.
Moore is the captain of the United States. S.
Founder of the merchant alita Institute of Marine Research and Education in Long Beach, California.