Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain's Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans
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In the summer of 1997, Charles Moore set sail from Hawaii, bound for his California home port. When he took a shortcut through the seldom-traversed North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a vast oceanic 'desert' where winds slacken and sailing ships languish, Moore realized his ship was skimming its way through a plastic soup. He has stumbled upon the largest garbage dump on the planet, soon to be dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a spiral nebula where plastic outweighs zooplankton, the ocean's food base, by a ratio of six to one. In Plastic Ocean, Moore unveils his ominous findings and the hidden properties of plastics. Our cozy relationship with plastic, originally meant to help conserve valued natural materials, is a dance with the devil. From milk jugs to bottle caps to polymer molecules small enough to penetrate human skin, plastic poses a potent threat to vanishing marine species and their fragile habitats - more damaging, Moore argues, than climate change. Unchecked, the plastic in our oceans may soon threaten human health and well-being. Moore's research into plastics' invasiveness raises profound questions about the impact and implications of this man-made blight. As the oceans, essential to all life on earth, teeter on the brink of irrevocable decline, Plastic Ocean calls for a fundamental rethinking of what we now know to be out Plastic Age.