Emma: "But what when the ice melts??"
Emma here, let me tell you what I found out the other day. Shocking news!! You guys may have heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area within the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre where an enormous amount of trash circulates. Now, however, it looks like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has an unassuming competitor in trapping marine debris: the Arctic!
A recently published study in Earth’s Future found that a significant amount of microplastics, sit frozen in Arctic sea ice. There is enough plastic in the ice to designate the Arctic as a major global sink for these tiny plastic particles. If melting trends continue at their current rate, the sea ice could unlock over one trillion pieces of microplastics over the next decade alone.
National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA discovered these synthetic particles in varying locations throughout the Arctic Ocean. The plastic pieces observed were mostly blue, black, green and red in color. Other materials included polyester, nylon, polypropylene, polystyrene, acrylic and polyethylene, according to the study.
Marine animals like myself and all the other Shore Buddies ingest these particulates. It extremely affects our health through the toxins and chemicals released in those microplastics.
The first thing we can do is stop the trend by adding more and more plastics to our environment and to our Oceans. While ocean clean ups are a great initiative to reverse the amount of plastics in the Oceans, the first step needs to be to stop more plastic to enter our eco system. Today, still nearly 30 million tons of plastic reach our oceans annually. This needs to stop!
Help us to save marine life and keep plastics out of our Oceans!