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Can We Clean Up Our Trashy Oceans?

There are millions of tons of trash floating in our oceans, much of it plastic (meaning it won't disappear anytime soon). Scientists are now trying to figure out how to clean it up. The largest "floating island" of plastic trash is in the North Pacific and covers an area twice the size of France. Other trash islands have been discovered in the North and South Atlantic, and scientists suspect that the same thing is taking place in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. When this plastic floats towards a coastline, it affects tourism. It also kills fish that mistake it for food. Worst of all, contaminants in the water cling to the plastic and are then transported across the world's oceans. As well as damaging coasts and killing marine life who mistake the plastic for food, contaminants in the water, which attach to the plastic debris, are transporting waste chemicals across the world's oceans. 80% of has is trash that has blown or floated off of landfill sites, and until there is another way to get rid of our plastic trash, these islands will get bigger and bigger. But once we send out ships to scoop up all that plastic trash, what do we do with it? A machine has been invented that can cheaply and efficiently transform plastic into oil, meaning we can get oil from the ocean without having to drill for it. (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show).

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