Many forms of life have evolved under the “plastic continent” of the North Pacific

This part of the North Pacific has been called “plastic soup” or even “sixth continent”: it is a relatively calm sea area where waste accumulates, a terrifying symbol of human pollution. Large-scale waste collection is well-intentioned, but biologist Rebecca Helm tells us they also endanger marine biodiversity. explanation.

Blue sea dragon. Photo: Shutterstock

Due to wind and tides

Many marine species do not have the ability to move: this is especially the case for small organisms such as the physalia, the porpita or the velella. Entirely dependent on ocean currents, this marine fauna is sent to the ” plastic continent », such as waste. In this quiet environment it is therefore an exuberant life that rubs against the shoulders with litter.

Cleaning the oceans: a very human clumsiness

The cleaning actions organized in the plastic soup are based on a good intention: to repair the damage caused by human pollution. For example, the NGO The Ocean Cleanup plans to clean up waste with huge nets. Vegetable tells us that such a project could be counterproductive: according to marine biologist Rebecca Helm, these major operations endanger small marine organisms mixed with waste.

“It would be like flattening a meadow full of plastic bags.”

Rebecca Helm on Twitter

The solution ? Get to the root of the problem by putting pressure on packaging manufacturers. † It makes no sense to collect massive plastic at sea if there is nothing left to protect she continued on her Twitter page. The biologist recommends careful manual collections of ecosystems that, not insulting to humans, have developed despite pollution!

The best way to redeem your ecological sins? Do not connect them to avoid fishing for plastic!

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