School Email Exchange

Is there a way to fix the plastics or is it past a point of no return?

Posted on November 06 2012

Question submitted by Bainbridge High School

In the answer to a previous question I referred to floating plastic, including microscopic pieces. There is also an unknown amount of plastic that sinks, as well as the plastic we are sampling that is mixed down below the sea surface.  Given the incredibly huge amount of plastic that is already in our oceans, the problem that exists is beyond fixing.  What we (people) can do is raise awareness of the problem, set examples by how we use and dispose of plastic, and work for legislation in order to stem the flow of additional plastic into the oceans.

These are just a few of the large plastic items we brought aboard from one station along our cruise track.  There are concentrated areas like this in gyres in all the subtropical oceans.