Ocean Confetti!

Ocean Confetti!


In many ways, plastic is the perfect material:
we can make it strong and rigid enough to build spaceships and replace bones, or thin
and flexible enough to make shopping bags that weigh as much as a nickel but carry up
to 17 pounds. And unlike other materials, plastic doesn’t rust or rot — it can last
for centuries, even when we only need it to last a few seconds. We make tons of plastic precisely because
it’s cheap, durable and yet expendable. But the features of plastic that make it so
useful to us have also transformed life in the oceans, where as much as 10% of our discarded
plastic — millions of tons per year — ends up. Big pieces of plastic are definitely bad
news for marine animals like whales, albatross, and sea turtles, which risk getting tangled
in the debris or ingesting large pieces of it. Yet despite the publicity about huge garbage
patches in the sea, most of the ocean’s plastic isn’t big — our castaway shopping bags and
soda bottles get weakened by sunlight and torn apart in the wind and the waves into
little bits of plastic confetti. On the micro-scale, though, it’s still super durable — the microorganisms
that decompose ripped-up bits of wood and seaweed down into simpler organic compounds
can’t easily digest plastic. So while the plastic confetti gets broken into smaller
pieces, it doesn’t go away – it just spreads out over time. Which is why we’ve found “microplastics”
pretty much everywhere in the oceans, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and from the
seafloor to the surface. Unlike the easy-to-observe impacts of large
plastic trash, the effects of microplastics are as subtle and difficult to trace as the
fragments themselves: the durable fragments can serve as new real estate on which small
ocean creatures can grow and multiply; or choke slightly larger ocean creatures that
think the plastics are food; or attract and collect toxic chemicals which become introduced
into the food chain if the particles are eaten; and probably a million other problems we haven’t
noticed yet. Because we’ve only recently started paying attention to all these microplastics
in the oceans. But it’s undeniable how much plastic trash
we’ve introduced into marine ecosystems, and the wonderful durability of plastic guarantees
it’ll be an issue for years to come – it’s possible we can decrease further impact by
switching to biodegradable plastics, dumping less plastic in the oceans, or cleaning up
the patches of sea most strewn with plastic, but until we do, the question is, will the
oceans be plastic enough to deal with our favorite material?

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100 thoughts on “Ocean Confetti!

  1. i hate humans we ruin nature and im one out of seven billion so i am not special neither are u if i could i would kill myself if that ment i could kill all of humanty. i dont feel sad about a little girl who died because if everybody is equal then we shouldnt care about a little girl who dies if we dont care about adults. Example, a kids sister at my school has cancer and the whole school donates, is on the news, and even has their own t shirts, but when my grandma gets MURDERED and my other grandma gets cancer and dies. not ONLY was it not on the news, but the murderer is living a happy life i think in flordia.

  2. maybe recycling program should be more attractive to those who dump into the ocean. everyone is paying for consequences, why not pay to prevent it.

  3. Plastic rots now. Some species of bacteria evolved to feast on it. takes about 50years for a plastic bottle tough. still not thousands anymore

  4. If we ever engineer a bacteria which can digest hydrocarbon polymers, we might be able to release it into the oceans to help curb the problem.
    Of course, there are obviously no potential problems whatsoever with releasing a microorganism which breaks down one of our most popular materials for building stuff out of…

  5. use plastic (used) in making new roads. This has been done somewhere if i remember it right. I also know that there are factories that use used tires as fuel in Pakistan just because its cheap and emit all the pollutants in the air. Nobody gives a shit about long term effects. China – India and all similar countries wants to adapt US style growth which is unsustainable for the planet. Meat consumption is getting increased by prosperity in wealth.

  6. Why isn't anyone pointing a finger at who or what companies are responsible for this? As long as the culprits behind it don't have to take responsibility for the harm they've caused to the ocean's ecosystem, the rest of us have to pay the price. Which countries are guilty of dumping the most plastic in the ocean? Which companies plastics show up in the ocean the most? We're not going to fix this problem by expecting nice people to reduce their plastic use. I don't think there are enough nice people on the planet to make enough of a difference. We need to start using prosecution, and sanctions to address the problem. And right now, nobody seems to be pointing a finger at anyone, they're just pointing it at everyone. And funding to deal with environmental disasters like tsunamis should include ocean clean up costs. Right now, the problem seems to only be addressed by volunteer efforts.

  7. What if all the plastic joined in together and made… uh… I know! The-Big-Fat-Continent-That-Was-Formed-Because-Of-Plastic-Confetti! But that's kinda a mouthful, so how about Plastilandia! The continent of plastic, first unnatural continent made of plastic, confetti, and plastic confetti!

  8. At first I was hoping for some sort of weird new weather phenomenon…. Within 5 seconds of starting the video, I knew exactly what this was about and it was so much more depressing than my initial thought.

  9. Garbage trucks don't actually dump trash into the ocean do they? I would like to see some more videos on how trash is managed.

  10. 💡I KNOW! I'll do the following:
    1. Get ocean water (with plastic in it but no animals, only microbes).
    2. Put it in a/an pool/aquarium.
    3. Let the plastic break down.
    4. Strain the plastic "confetti" out.
    5. Use it as real confetti at parties.

  11. soon microorganisms will evolve and will start digesting plastics too… an then insects will evolve too and we may have plastic termites……

  12. Ocean party! 🎉🎊 Is what I was thinking while I was looking at the title. 💃💭 But as a sea creature I'd totally have a party underwater! 🌊 Of course no one would care and I'd be eaten anyways but… 🍑 As long as I'm having the time of my life! 🍥🎏🎐🎣🐟🐠🐡🎉🎉🎊🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊🎉😕

  13. 1:44 I think that is:
    1. Microplastic killing humans for some reason.
    2. Microplastic changing fish in some kind of way.
    3. Microplastic in a huge amount floating to the surface of the water so much humans can walk on water.

  14. We in sweden have com upp whit a strategi fore The plastic we can melt The plastic to bildning material tat we use right now

  15. If you want to make a difference regarding plastics in the ocean, make a version of this video for Asian and indian languages. Not everything regarding pollution is automatically America's fault.

  16. evolution will solve this, a microbe that can digest plastic will have maximum fitness and no competition for resources, we just have to wait

  17. А се. А еда. С а ас. Ас. С е. Челядей чу В высчитывая с вы ас е. Пенни ма н с Насте ас се Асеев САС нас е АСЕАН е вы яыыу ывчвк сан с аевит качкую чумы вы сам вк вк вк Вовкой. Вк кыяучса. Ни и р. Се. Сане се. А е. Рис. М ми v gv 个v风采 工程 成分非常非常 非常 非常非常非常 大方 吃饭。存放幸福铁 v 个 v 天发 风格成功反弹 反弹窗通风铁 粉翡翠台cft им м. Рмрн ма. Манеv c 个车 房 车费。cf. gvy. Ft fact f t. C FTC. Tf c tfc. Tf. Tfc. Cftft. Cat. Catfish. T. T f. Vtyf c ft c FTC c t c tf. Fifth sxsxx ex’s redr c drcdr r try c from cr t c for c tfc crt red c tfc dr d rc drd r c rd drd d dc. Deed dc ed Ed cd edge c dee dr. D de. Sr. Drd. Re x r xe see. See r expect XX s r s rd. R drd. D dr d rd. Ride. C. C c. C. C. D. D. C c c dc. D. C. Do. C d

  18. Ok, so we are throwing plastic which becomes microplastic which gets filled with toxins which poison plankton which poison small fish which poison big fish which poison us.
    Basically, microplastic poisons plankton, small fish, big fish, then us.

  19. Oh when I went into sound waters summer school and they do research about Micro plastics also water quality and plankton

  20. Scientist can make a micro organism that can eat the plastic but it's safe for other animals to eat them and then the scientists can dump trillions of the organisms in the ocean the they will degrade the big and small plastic

  21. Microplastics have been found in sea salt and seafood that we cook and eat. I was of the opinion that burning plastics were poisonous. Has anyone investigated this concern?

  22. How about we breed a creature that eats plastic? It sounds hard, but if it works against mosquito’s then they could try this too

  23. I got an ad about people cleaning the ocean its okay guys they can handle it………….,……………….most of the time

  24. i would say we could take small pools of ocean, boil it until it evaporates, and then re-introduce the condensed water-vapor… but that would be fresh water, and all the plastic would be mixed in with salt, and the oceans need salt… Don't think that'll help.

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