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Water Benefits Health News -- Viable Solutions to Cleaning Up Ocean Plastic Pollution
December 23, 2019

Water Benefits Health News, Issue #68

December 23, 2019

Hello Water Friend,

I recently read the full story of a 52-year old Frenchman, Ben Lecomte, who swam 300 nautical miles within the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this past summer.

As you may know, plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is carried by currents and collects in five gyres, or major water systems, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The Pacific gyre (also called the Pacific Vortex), which is located between North America and Japan, contains nearly one-third of all oceanic plastic.

During the swim, Lecomte had a crew of nine who collected debris and gathered data. The scientific research was led by marine debris researcher Drew McWhirter, who wanted to know what the vortex looked like and what types of plastic were collecting there.

From their data, McWhiter stated that it’s evident "there are millions of pieces of microplastic in a square kilometer of ocean," says McWhirter. "There's so much plastic, it's hard to wrap your head around it."

So, the bad news is that we have a serious plastic pollution problem that is getting worse. The good news is that public awareness and action is increasing.

Our featured article is about one young innovator and his organization, Ocean Cleanup, which is using a passive trash-collecting system in an attempt to remove half the plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just five years.

Another practical approach is to tackle the trash at its source—roughly 95 percent of the plastic that flows into the oceans comes from just 10 major rivers. The top polluting rivers are located in Asia. (For more info, see article below.)

In the past few years, several countries have acted on certain initiatives to reduce plastic pollution, such as banning single-use plastics, but major efforts are still urgently needed in Asia.

Individually we can also make a dent now in waste accumulation by reducing our usage of plastic, especially with single-use disposable items like straws, bags, bottles and cutlery.

Lecomte says his face-to-face experience with the Pacific's garbage has prompted him to reduce his consumption of plastic.

He hopes that by revealing what's going on "below the surface" he can "inspire people to stop using single-use plastic and to rethink the way we live."

I am inspired to use less plastic in the New Year, are you?

Happy Holidays!

Nancy Hearn, CNC

Feature Article

Ocean Plastic Pollution – A Viable Cleanup Solution

For many years, ocean plastic pollution was an environmental crisis written off as a problem with no solution.

However, against all odds, young innovator Boyan Slat, currently CEO of The Ocean Cleanup at the age of 22, has developed a plan and the technology to remove ocean plastics.

Boyan’s plan is designed to clean up the major plastic pollution in the world’s oceans in just ten years. With the first prototype in place in the North Sea, I am optimistic that significant amounts of plastic will be removed from our oceans in the near future.

Read more here . . .

Related Articles; Long-Distance Swimmer Dives into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; Plastic Rivers: Just 10 Streams Carry 95 Percent of Plastic into Oceans

Ocean Pollution – 3 Major Threats and What We Can Do

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Nancy Hearn is a certified health and nutrition consultant, hydration specialist, fitness advisor, and freelance web writer. She is the author of and has published numerous health articles and eBooks.

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