Swimming in waste in the world’s oceans
Often we think of the ocean of as an away. Humans have yet to figure out how to govern it, it’s home to the largest creatures on the planet, and yet, less is known about the deep sea than outer space: once things enter the ocean, they never come back. Or do they? Various types of detritus of contemporary capitalism are circulating the globe through the water cycle, from barrier reefs to epic trenches. Here’s how they’re toxic.
Waste & War
Life in the plasticene creates huge amounts of waste. Many of the waste products that end up in landfills are plastics; approximately fifty percent of all plastics are used only once and then thrown away (recycling plastics isn’t really economically viable). And lots of waste en route to landfills winds up in the ocean. A modest estimate calculates that every year, eight million tons of plastics end up in the oceans, where upon interacting with water and sunlight, they release toxins like the endocrine disruptors bisphenol A and PS oligimer into the water that then enter the food web.