The Lifespan of Plastic is Far Too Long

Written by on August 22, 2013 in Other News

“That you can create something to be used for a minute that lasts forever is evil.”

Plastic pollution.

Plastic pollution. Photo credit: via photopin cc.

Water bottles, microbeads and to-go cups are just a few of the things that 5 Gyres communications director Stiv Wilson is talking about. The amount of these plastic products that end up in the oceans is astounding and researchers around the globe are working to determine the effects that it will have on the ocean and its inhabitants.

When many people hear about plastic pollution, they think of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and picture an actual island of garbage, but that’s not the case and I haven’t heard it explained better than it was in the documentary Plasticized.

This 48-minute documentary was released in 2011, but now is available to watch online for free. And (sadly) the information about plastic pollution remains as relevant today as it was two years ago.

The film covers a 31-day expedition from the port of Ilha Grande in Brazil to Cape Town, South Africa across the South Atlantic Gyre. The crew, composed of researchers from the 5 Gyres Institute, other scientists and even surfers, sampled the water with a trawling net every 60 nautical miles continuously throughout the trip in order to document the amount of plastic pollution in and around the gyre.

After watching the movie and seeing just how much of an impact that water bottle or micro-beaded face wash is having on the ocean, you might feel a little down but there is some good news. The 5 Gyres Institute has a whole section on their website dedicated to getting involved in the fight against plastic pollution; the actions range from a simple signature on a petition to joining them on an upcoming expedition.

Watch the trailer below and see the entire documentary for free on YouTube or Films for Action.

To learn more:

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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