Toxic Braids

The NaHaiWriMo theme for February 25 is “braid.”

Global Pollution

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There is a huge vortex of garbage in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii. Really huge. Bigger than the state of Texas.

It is a tangled mass of mostly plastic, but living things also get caught in it. What is even more damaging to ocean wildlife is that the plastic disintegrates into tiny particles over time. To the fish, these particles look like food. No one yet knows the full toxic effects of this man-made mess. Scientists and engineers are working on possible methods of clean-up, but capturing the disintegrated plastic that falls below the surface is problematic (an understatement).

Some plastics leach carcinogens into the ocean, as well as toxic chemicals that inhibit wildlife reproduction. We are making a kind of toxic slop in the ocean, which likely affects our own food supply.

If you would like more information about this issue, check out these articles. And thank you for recycling!

National Geographic – Pacific Garbage Patch

Giant Ocean-Trash Vortex Attracts Explorers

National Geographic – Plastic Breaks Down in the Ocean, After All–and Fast

Wikipedia – Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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