Academic journal article Science Scope

Plastic, Ahoy!

Academic journal article Science Scope

Plastic, Ahoy!

Article excerpt

By Patricia Newman. $30.60. 48 pp. Millbrook Press. Minneapolis. 2014. ISBN: 9781467712835.

We are all guilty participants in the pollution of the Earth's air, water, and land, 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 often not recycled. These reach the ocean along various routes and then float into an area called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. While the plastics do gradually break down, in the process they release highly toxic chemicals.

Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch recounts the scientific examination of the garbage patch and the plastic items in it as part of the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition (SEAPLEX). As the author notes, the specific questions to be answered by SEAPLEX were these: 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? …

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