Thursday, December 1, 2016

Plastic Garbage Patch

12:08 AM (6 hours ago)

CNN Breaking News CNNBreakingNews@mail.cnn.com

 
On the beach lies a motorcycle helmet, a mannequin's head, an umbrella handle and a flip-flop. They didn't fall from a plane or off a ship, and there aren't any civilians living here who could have left them behind.

They were washed onto Midway Atoll with the tide, most likely part of an enormous plastic garbage patch spinning in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Some of the coffee cup lids, water bottles and bags you discarded are probably in there. 

Some 8 million tons of plastic trash leak into the ocean annually, and it's getting worse every year. Some of it kills the birds on the atoll. Some sinks deep into the ocean and can end up in plankton. Some, including the likely carcinogen styrene, gets back to us through the food chain.

"These are the classic 'canary in the coal mine' scenarios," said Matthew Brown with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

View CNN's special report -- Plastic Island: How our throwaway culture is turning paradise into a graveyard

Home Electronics Disposal

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