More Charming News From The Edge Of Reason

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik
Ah, the glint of pristine polymers at play...

Just in case we were under any delusions that we're not the most dangerous organism that ever slimed its way outta the primordial soup - more news from the edge of reason.
Dunno if you heard about the Gyre. It's 'located between the equator and 50ยบ N latitude and occupies an area of approximately ten million square miles (34 million km²)* that is more plastic than ocean. I found out about it from Vice Magazine, which is a great mag and is found over here. But there are plenty other sources if you - dull pun alert - trawl the net.
Well, lemme tell you, it's not pretty. Basically the Coriolis Effect (you do remember it from Geography? No? Slackass. It's a consequence of the earth's spin. It causes your bathwater to drain out in an anticlockwise fashion down south and vice versa up north.) creates massive vortices way, way out in the world's oceans. The North Pacific Trash Gyre (honest injun, that's what they're calling it) isn't alone, though - wherever our beloved beleaguered oceans have enough room to spin lazily around in areas of stable high pressure, the shit collects. Mostly it's plastic, as plastic floats and has a looooooooooooooooooooong lifespan.
Yes, I do realise that this is usually a happy-go-lucky-where's-the-jol kinda blog. But this is just too gruesome to pass up. Don't mean to spoil your day, but we've a few problems out there.
Turns out all the trash of the world, as it was once biodegradable, used to collect in the various gyres out there, but used to get waterlogged and voila! disappear into the briny blue. No more.
Because so much of our trash nowadays is polymer-based and virtually indestructible, it just...spins out there. It gets broken down by sunlight, sure, but into smaller pieces. So what we now have is a soup of plastic that's more plastic than seawater. You can imagine what this is doing to the beseiged sealife out there. Doesn't bear thinking about. But there you go - somebody's gotta. Might as well be us.

Moral? Shit, there's no moral, only a lesson - recycle your plastic.

(There are plenty places to take your separated trash. Hell, if I can haul my lazy ass out of an intensive session of sofa yoga to troop my household schieze to the recycle depot, anyone can.)


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