The Dangers of Plastics in the Food Chain

The Dangers of Plastics in the Food Chain

Not only are there potentially harmful chemicals like BPA in plastics, but there is a much more evident problem with plastics that we can clearly see; they do not decompose over time. Plastics just continue to break down into smaller and smaller particles until they reach the molecule level, breaking into individual polymers. These polymers are not naturally found in nature, but nature is finding them and eating them, and plastics are entering our food chain at the lowest levels and working their way up. Essentially by not disposing of or recycling plastics properly, we are poisoning ourselves with the food that we eat, as they are eating plastics at lower levels on the food chain, which make it into food that we eat.

One if not the largest and most frightening problems we face directly related to the use of plastics is the Great Garbage Patch, located in the North Pacific Gyre. The North Pacific Gyre is an area of the Pacific Ocean that stretches roughly from California to Japan just north of Hawaii. If you aren’t sure what a Gyre is, they are basically huge currents wind that control vast areas of water around Earth. There are only 5 major ocean Gyres on the planet. The North Pacific Gyre comprises most of the northern Pacific Ocean with an area occupying approximately 20 Million square miles. Because of it’s size, the North Pacific Gyre is teh largest ecosystem on the planet.

Now that you know how large that it is, and how important it is to our planet, now you must know what is happening there. Currently, there is an enormous amount of man made debris, much of which is comprised of plastics. They are calling this area the Great Garbage Patch. You can find anything from large globs of fishing nets clumped together to bottles, straws, toothbrushes, lighters, and more.

The problem is, you won’t just find bottles and bottle caps, you can skim the water and pull up plastic pieces that are outnumbering plankton counts by upwards of 100:1 in some areas of the gyre. The plastic bottle that you might see now floating around, will eventually over time break down to smaller pieces that are mistaken for food. These small pieces of plastic are making it into the stomachs of fish, birds, and other sea animals. Worse yet, these animals are dying because they are starving from filling up on plastic in their stomachs, or dying from infections from eating plastics.

The scary part is that according to some of the early research I have done, some lab tests with BPA and other chemicals in plastics showed higher rates of ADD, ADHD, Diabetes, and other diseases on the rise in America. Because of my early research, I am currently swearing off of plastics in any place that I can. If I do need to dispose of any plastics, I will be doing so at my local recycle center and not the trash that is for sure. I have found a series of videos that are just gripping about this issue.

See the videos below for a reality check.

Garbage Island: An Ocean Full of Plastic (Part 1/3)

Garbage Island: An Ocean Full of Plastic (Part 2/3)

Garbage Island: An Ocean Full of Plastic (Part 3/3)