Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Guardian: "Plastic debris reaches Southern Ocean, previously thought to be pristine"

Link to web site

"The first traces of plastic debris have been found in what was thought to be the pristine environment of the Southern Ocean, according to a study released in London by the French scientific research vessel Tara.

"... The fatal impact of plastic pollutants on the marine environment has been widely observed, as birds and fish regularly consume waste products, which can be easily mistaken for jellyfish or other prey but cannot be degraded in the stomach. Plastics also slowly release toxins and other chemical substances that work their way up the marine food chain.

" 'It's too late to do much about what's already out there at this stage, as this stuff is going to hang around for thousands of years,' said Bowler. However, he says the best way to mitigate future pollution is to advocate the use of biodegradable technologies, while emphasising a shift in consumer practices."

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