Cleaning the Ocean: Is The Solution Adding to The Problem?

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Credit: The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup (TOC) uses two ships with a U-shaped barrier to remove plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area notorious for its concentrated plastic waste. TOC has recovered 200 tons of plastic, but critics argue that the project is costly and inefficient and that the root problem is too much plastic being discarded. Additionally, there are now concerns that the cleanup efforts are disrupting marine habitats by capturing sea creatures along with the plastic, as published on Wired.

The new study – Neuston

A new study has found that floating marine life, called “neuston,” tends to clump together with plastic debris in the ocean, forming patches. Marine biologist Rebecca Helm and her colleagues analysed samples taken from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which showed that concentrations of plastic and neuston were higher inside the patch than outside. Jellyfish-like species such as by-the-wind sailors, blue buttons, and violet snails were particularly visible. The study suggests that plastic debris and neuston are attracted to each other in the ocean.

 

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Source: Wired