On August 26, 2014, the New York Times published an article on the pollution of the oceans by plastics. Charles J. Moore, captain of the U.S. merchant marine and founder of the Algalita Marine Research and Education Institute, Long Beach, U.S., reports on threats caused by plastic trash in the oceans. He claims the low biodegradability and the fragmentation of plastics are the most concerning issues. By ingesting pieces and fragments, sea animals increase their body burden of toxic chemicals or even choke themselves to death, the author of the article concludes. Further, Moore hypothesizes that more animals are killed by vagrant plastic that by climate change and he argues that “changing the way we produce and consume plastics is a challenge greater than reining in our production of carbon dioxide”. According to Moore, bottles, bags and containers used for food and drink are the most polluting plastics of the oceans. Additionally, he identifies huge sea-urchin and oyster farms used in the aquaculture industry as another source for marine plastic debris. To avoid the steady increase of these ocean garbage patches, Moore recommends skimmers in the coastal zones and at the mouths of urban rivers.
New York Times (August 25, 2014). “Choking the oceans with plastic.”