November 10, 2009

Garbagebergs

I am afraid that soon, instead of icebergs, we will have garbagebergs.

The New York Times ran an article today about how the Pacific Ocean is simply filling up with all the plastic bits of things that you and I throw away. And it's not just that we are "papering" our oceans with tons of plastic, but the floating plastic happily absorbs wildly toxic chemicals:

"PCBs, DDT and other toxic chemicals cannot dissolve in water, but the plastic absorbs them like a sponge. Fish that feed on plankton ingest the tiny plastic particles."

So then the toxic plastic dissolves into a trillion sparkly little pieces that get eaten by fish, who get eaten by other fish, who get eaten by . . . us. Instead of including a picture of the spotted gray trigger fish that just avoided a certain fate as a result of all this floating plastic, the Times should have included a picture of the children whose traumatic legacy our convenience-based lifestyles are ensuring.

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