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Letter: Cleaning up plastic in oceans is a worthwhile ecological effort
05232018 OCEAN CLEANUP
Plastic garbage is displayed prior to a press conference of the Ocean Cleanup foundation in Utrecht, Netherlands, Thursday, May 11, 2017. The foundation aiming to rid the world's oceans of plastic says it will start cleaning up the huge patch of floating junk known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within the next 12 months, two years ahead of schedule. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

The issue of global warming/climate change is present seemingly at all times. Opinions by some politicians and their followers based on chosen facts of the day vary. Immediate action based on use of fossil fuels is the order of the day for many. For others, the data show no action is required.

Please consider the other major use of petroleum: plastics. It is estimated that in 2003 more than 200 million tons of plastic was produced. Estimates for heat required to make the plastic remain unknown.

Unfortunately enormous amounts of that plastic find its way into our oceans. The damage done is catastrophic to the seafood industry, waterborne transportation and the population of the oceans. Birds become trapped in plastic refuse.

There are five ocean garbage patches. The largest is located between California and Hawaii and is estimated to contain more than 80,000 tons of debris, mostly plastic. The patches are visible for miles and growing.

There is a nonprofit company that has raised $32 million, designed and built equipment that they have tested in the North Sea and plan to attack the great Pacific garbage patch this year. The company is Ocean Cleanup.

Ocean Cleanup estimates it will remove 50 percent of the great Pacific garbage patch in five years. This is clear and concise action in which we can participate. Send them a check or maybe buy a T-shirt. 

Bruce W. Hallowell

Clarkesville

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