: views from the Hill

Friday, October 19, 2007

Continent-size toxic stew of plastic trash fouling swath of Pacific Ocean

Continent-size toxic stew of plastic trash fouling swath of Pacific Ocean by Justin Berton, SFChronicle.


At the start of the Academy Award-winning movie "American Beauty," a character videotapes a plastic grocery bag as it drifts into the air, an event he casts as a symbol of life's unpredictable currents, and declares the romantic moment as a "most beautiful thing."

To the eyes of an oceanographer, the image is pure catastrophe.

In reality, the rogue bag would float into a sewer, follow the storm drain to the ocean, then make its way to the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a heap of debris floating in the Pacific that's twice the size of Texas, according to marine biologists.

The enormous stew of trash - which consists of 80 percent plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons, say oceanographers - floats where few people ever travel, in a no-man's land between San Francisco and Hawaii.


At the end of the article is a link to Save The Bay's Bay Trash Hot Spots. Click on a hot spot and get the details of dumped trash between Hunter's Point and Candlestick Point, Colma Creek's trash, trash in Coyote Creek in the south bay and more.

3.5 million tons of plastics and other debris floating out in the ocean between us and Hawaii! Yikes.

Do what you can to help, or at least don't make it worse. Minimize bag use and don't let the ones you have get loose and wind up in the wild.

His nibs and I are signed up for a SPUR tour of Norcal's transfer station out on Tunnel Ave next Tuesday AM. Should be interesting.

No comments: