Ocean Plastics

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

NOAA’s map shows the global reach of ocean plastic pollution

The United Nations 2016 Report: “Plastic litter and micro-plastics are ubiquitous in the ocean”

Water and wind currents cause marine debris to accumulate

Plastics converges in expansive areas called Gyres or Garbage Patches; the largest one is between Hawaii and California

The size of the Pacific Gyres wreaks havoc on marine life, tourism, and shipping

The largest Pacific Gyre has been estimated to be the size of Texas

Plastics Mistaken for Food

Dead baby albatrosses reveal what happens when plastics are mistaken for food

Leads to Starvation

Animals’ stomachs fill with plastic debris, leaving little to no room for real food, so the animals slowly die from malnutrition

Like a Canary in a Coal Mine

These albatrosses are early warning signals of the threats posed by ocean plastic pollution

Plastic Pollution Ruins Our Beautiful Beaches

Plastic is damaging our beaches both environmentally and aesthetically

Plastic Ruins Family Time at the Beach

Plastics create safety hazards for our children and grandchildren playing in the sand

Increasing Amounts of Debris Make Beach Cleanup More Difficult

Beach lovers and cleanup volunteer crews can’t keep up with the volumes of plastic washing up onshore

Interrupting the Food Chain

Fish mistake microplastics for their usual diet and ingest them into their digestive tract

Fish Health Harmed

Plastics leech harmful chemicals and prevent these fish from maintaining their normal metabolic functions

Biomagnification Threat to Humans

Larger fish eat smaller fish with ingested plastic, and thereby have microplastics enter their bodies; up and up the food chain, until seafood containing unknown levels of microplastics reaches human dinner tables and is consumed

Plastic Damages Marine Industries

Marine debris creates financial losses for our fishing, tourism, and shipping industries

Damages to Shipping Industry

Concentrations of marine debris wreak havoc on ships and require long detours to avoid debris collision

Damages to Fishing Industry

Fishing ships harvest less fish at higher cost where debris is concentrated

Ocean plastics are on the surface and below the surface

Turtles also mistake plastics for food and suffer the consequences

Ocean plastics also ensnare thousands of ocean mammals

Seals are innocent victims of plastics hindering movement and nutrition, leading to reduced longevity and even death

NOAA’s list of endangered whales cites ocean debris as a key threat

Once entangled, whales struggle to surface for air

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