Friday 12 December 2014

Plastic in the Oceans Affects Us All Including Cats

The Mediterranean Sea is the worst of them all in terms of the amount of plastic floating around in it. There are 900,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometre in the Mediterranean Sea. Most oceans had up to hundred thousand pieces per square kilometre. Overall, there are 5.2 trillion pieces of plastic in the seas and oceans of the world which weighs a quarter of 1 million tonnes.

These are estimates but they are based on what I consider to be a fairly sound basis. There were 24 expeditions to all oceans and two forms of counting plastic. Plastics were collected in fine nets. The larger pieces of plastic were counted at sea. The observations were conducted at more than 1,500 locations over a six-year period. The results are published in the online journal, Plos One.

What is disturbing is that a lot of the plastic in the seas and oceans is going missing and the conclusion that the scientists have tentatively come to is that the fish and sea birds are eating it. For example, the study stated that 288 million tonnes of plastic was produced in 2012 whereas the estimated weight of the plastic in the oceans was only 0.1% of that total.

A Japanese study conducted in 2012 found that the compounds in plastic had entered the tissue of seabirds. There is a lot of plastic in the sea and it appears to be entering the food chain. If that is the case then both humans and cats may very well be affected by this.

After the Mediterranean Sea the most polluted oceans are in this order: North Pacific (700,000 pieces per square kilometre), North Atlantic (680,000), South Atlantic (481,000), South Pacific (396,000), and the Indian Ocean which had an estimated hundred 161,000 pieces of plastic unit per square kilometre.

The final worrying bit of information in this article is that it takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to break down!

Source: Plus One via The Times

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