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While we are all worrying about the herring that haven't arrived, here's something to add to your worry list ... a National Geographic article by Carolyn Barry claims plastic breaks down in the ocean, after all - and fast - with huge negative impact on ocean life .
August 20, 2009
Though ocean-borne plastic trash has a reputation as an indestructible, immortal environmental villain, scientists announced yesterday that some plastics actually decompose rapidly in the ocean. And, the researchers say, that's not a good thing.
The team's new study is the first to show that degrading plastics are leaching potentially toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A into the seas, possibly threatening ocean animals, and us.
Scientists had previously thought plastics broke down only at very high temperatures and over hundreds of years.
The researchers behind a new study, however, found that plastic breaks down at cooler temperatures than expected, and within a year of the trash hitting the water.
Read the entire story here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/08/090820-plastic-decomposes-oceans-seas.html