Monday, June 11, 2018

As You Sow, So Shall You Reap

Yeah, sure. Yada, yada, yada. Only this time it seems it's for real.

For some while now we've been hearing about microplastics and our oceans. Now we're eating the microplastics that we ditched.

Shellfish are the natural filter systems of our seas, mechanisms of purity. So, to discover in a report released on World Oceans Day that mussels bought from UK supermarkets were infested with microplastic seems like a final irony in the terrible story of the plasticisation of the sea. According to the study by the University of Hull and Brunel University London, 70 particles of microplastic were found in every 100 grams of mussels. 
There’s a vital disconnection here – highlighted by the bottled water you drink to wash down your moules-frites, and the fact that 89% of ocean trash comes from single-use plastic. No sea is immune from this plague, nor any ocean creature, from the modest mussel or zooplankton to the great whales.
That we cannot look underneath what Herman Melville called “the ocean’s skin” is part of the problem. It is as if, defeated by the sea’s mystery, we punish it for defying our dominion. And so, it wreaks its revenge, feeding our own rubbish back to us. Shakespeare’s Ariel looked down into the ocean and saw “something rich and strange”; we look down and see our consuming society reflected back at us.


Toby said...

Just who is dumping plastic in the oceans? Being a landlubber I'm not up on that. I'm sure that some of it comes off the shore but I would guess that most of it is the result of maritime dumping.

Anonymous said...

All those pleasure ships no doubt are dumping everything into the ocean.....people living next to the ocean are dumping plastic into it....lived near the ocean; have seen it. Poor countries dump their garbage into the ocean. Anyong.

The Mound of Sound said...

China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are thought responsible for 60% of plastics dumped into the sea.

Jay Farquharson said...

"About 80% of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch comes from land-based activities in North America and Asia. Trash from the coast of North America takes about six years to reach the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, while trash from Japan and other Asian countries takes about a year.

The remaining 20% of debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch comes from boaters, offshore oil rigs, and large cargo ships that dump or lose debris directly into the water. The majority of this debris—about 79,000 tons—is fishing nets. More unusual items, such as computer monitors and LEGOs, come from dropped shipping containers."

Trailblazer said...

Anonymous Toby said...
Just who is dumping plastic in the oceans?



Toby said...

Thanks for the links. The scale of the problem is hard to imagine. Worse, the failure of governments to control it is stunning.