Academic journal article Science and Children

Plastic, Ahoy!

Academic journal article Science and Children

Plastic, Ahoy!

Article excerpt

Plastic, Ahoy! By Patricia Newman. $30.60. 48 pp. Milbrook Press. New York. 2014. ISBN: 9781467712835.

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We are all guilty participants in the pollution of the air, water, land, and the environment in which we live. The ocean is the ultimate dump for much of this pollution. One highly visible pollutant is the wide variety of plastic products and packaging that are slow to break down and are often not recycled. These reach the ocean along various routes and then float into an area called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The plastics gradually break down, but in the process release highly toxic chemicals.

This book recounts the scientific examination of the plastic items as part of the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition (SEAPLEX). As the authors note, the specific questions to be answered were: How much plastic was in the garbage patch? Were fish eating the plastics? If so, were they dying because of it? Were the chemicals used to make plastic poisoning the water? Did plastic affect the food chain? Were any animals and plants living on the floating plastic? And if so, were the plastic homes poisoning the animals? …

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