Breaking the cycle of plastics in the ocean

Ocean Conservancy Magazine, Autumn 2007 – Feature Story: “What Comes Around.” By Andrew Myers.Breaking the cycle of plastics in the ocean

“Honolulu – a researcher comes upon the decomposing remains of a Laysan albatross chick, a “gooney bird,” as it’s known. The dead bird’s white and smoky gray feathers twist in the wind. A few break off and tumble down the beach. Clearly visible through the bird’s denuded rib cage are the remnants of its last meals. Red, blue, yellow, orange—the colors are striking against the feathers and bleached bone. Plastic shards. A bottle cap. A cigarette lighter. No one can say for certain what killed the bird, but there’s enough plastic in its gizzard to limit, if not cut off, the vital nutrients it needed to survive. “

While cleanups battle and analyse the problem, increase awareness and motivate action, we will need a drastic change in human behaviour, even “broad cultural changes” and technological solutions in the search for alternatives and ways to harvest the current plastic load circling in the sea.

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