There are a number of nonprofit organizations working to take away floating plastic from the Great Pacific Patch. The largest, the Ocean Cleanup Foundation within the Netherlands, developed a web particularly to gather and focus marine particles as it’s pulled throughout the ocean’s floor by winds and currents. Once the online is full, a ship takes its contents to land for correct disposal.
Dr. Helm and different scientists warn that such nets threaten sea life, together with neuston. Although changes to the online’s design have been made to scale back bycatch, Dr. Helm believes any large-scale removing of plastic from the patch may pose a menace to its neuston inhabitants.
“When it comes to figuring out what to do about the plastic that’s already in the ocean, I think we need to be really careful,” she stated. The outcomes of her examine “really emphasize the need to study the open ocean before we try to manipulate it, modify it, clean it up or extract minerals from it.”
Laurent Lebreton, an oceanographer with the Ocean Cleanup Foundation, disagreed with Dr. Helm.
“It’s too early to reach any conclusions on how we should react to that study,” he stated. “You have to take into account the effects of plastic pollution on other species. We are collecting several tons of plastic every week with our system — plastic that is affecting the environment.”
Plastic within the ocean poses a menace to marine life, killing greater than 1,000,000 seabirds yearly, in addition to greater than 100,000 marine mammals, in response to UNESCO. Everything from fish to whales can turn into entangled, and animals typically mistake it for meals and find yourself ravenous to loss of life with stomachs full of plastic.
Ocean plastics that don’t find yourself asphyxiating an albatross or entangling an elephant seal ultimately break down into microplastics, which penetrate each department of the meals internet and are almost unattainable to take away from the atmosphere.
One factor everybody agrees on is that we have to cease the stream of plastic into the ocean.
“We need to turn off the tap,” Mr. Lecomte stated.