I’ve heard that there are these huge islands of trash in the ocean, and they’re just growing. Why can’t we just get some ships to haul the trash to shore? Fishing boats could scoop it up with their nets.
Trash in the oceans is a very serious problem. Currents such as the North Pacific Gyre carry trash and deposit it in a central location. There is an area in the Pacific Ocean that some experts say is about twice the size of Texas made of trash, forming a continent of trash. Marine animals ingest the plastic and die. As plastics breakdown in the ocean they release toxins which enter the ocean water. Some ways of preventing this accumulation of trash are to; recycle as much as possible, buy products with as little packaging as possible, use reusable bags when shopping, try to buy glass instead of plastic, and using your own cups when purchasing coffee and other drinks.
We can participate in the 24th annual International Coastal Cleanup on September 19, 2009 to keep more trash from going into our oceans. During the 2008 International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers collected more than 6.8 million pounds of trash in 104 countries and 42 U.S. states. Official registration for this year’s cleanup begins on August 3.
While marine researcher Charles Moore does not believe that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch can be fully cleaned up because the sun’s UV rays have broken down the plastic garbage into many small particles and the patch is about located thousands of miles from land, we can cut back on our use of plastics on land and make sure that it is recycled. Also, if scientists find that it is possible to clean up the mess, we can urge Congress to begin cleaning it up in the most effective manner possible. Right now, making sure that our plastic gets recycled is most important.
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