Home | Friday 21st August 2009 | Issue 688
This weeks prize for proving what we already knew goes to academics from Nihon University, Chiba, Japan. They’ve released a study showing that plastics do decompose in the sea, causing toxic nano-sludge and releasing poisons such as bispenol A and PS oligomer into the bargain – known to disrupt the functioning of hormones in animals. This means that the visible plastic pollution in the oceans – and boy is it ever visible, with a plas-slick ‘Garbage Gyre’ twice the size of Texas off the US coast (see SchNEWS 620) – an even bigger danger may be what happens as it breaks down, which, according to the new research, is quite quick given exposure to sun and seawater.
Now this news is ‘out of the bag’, it looks like dreams of linking the US and Japan by a permanent plastic causeway are doomed unless consumers and industry can pull together to pump more waste plastic into the sea, and do so quicker than it can melt away into the ecosystem... C’mon guys, messing this up this historic opportunity would be such a waste!