Sunday, January 13, 2013

Studying How Plastic Pollution Enters Ocean Food Supply



VOA Learning English: Studying How Plastic Pollution Enters Ocean Food Supply

Marcus Eriksen is not really fishing. He is catching plastic in the Atlantic Ocean. Eriksen wants to publicize the growing buildup of plastic waste in our oceans and to study its effects.

MARCUS ERIKSEN: "These are five sub-tropical gyres in the world where the majority of the plastic in the world accumulates."

ANNA CUMMINS: "The gyre is formed by ocean currents that couple with the spinning of the Earth, the Earth's rotation. And what happens is that you have, effectively, a massive whirlpool, this large spinning system, where debris can accumulate."

Anna Cummins and her husband Marcus Eriksen set up a not-for-profit group called the 5 Gyres Institute. It helps researchers with studies of plastic pollution in the oceans. Cummins says plastic bags and bottles have little or no value after they are used. Most plastic waste can be found in solid landfills or along rivers. A lot of this waste also washes out to sea. (read more)

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