Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain's Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans

Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain's Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans

by Charles Moore


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The researcher who discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—and remains one of today's key advocates for plastic pollution awareness—inspires a fundamental rethinking of the modern Plastic Age. 

In 1997, environmentalist Charles Moore discovered the world's largest collection of floating trash—the Great Pacific Garbage Patch ("GPGP")—while sailing from Hawaii to California. Moore was shocked by the level of pollution that he saw. And in the last 20 years, it's only gotten worse—a 2018 study has found that the vast dump of plastic waste swirling in the Pacific Ocean is now bigger than France, Germany, and Spain combined—far larger than previously feared.

In Plastic Ocean, Moore recounts his ominous findings and unveils the secret life of plastics. From milk jugs and abandoned fishing gear to polymer molecules small enough to penetrate human skin and be unknowingly inhaled, plastic is now suspected of contributing to a host of ailments, including infertility, autism, thyroid dysfunction, and certain cancers. An urgent call to action, Plastic Ocean's sobering revalations have been embraced by activists, concerned parents, and anyone alarmed by the deadly impact and implications of this man-made environmental catastrophe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781583335017
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/04/2012
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 548,442
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Capt. Charles Moore is a researcher and speaker focusing on the environment. He lives in Long Beach, California.

Cassandra Phillips has worked as a newspaper reporter. She lives in Kamuela, Hawaii.

Table of Contents

A Note to the Reader ix

1 A Plastic Soup 1

2 Synthetic Evolution 20

3 Surfing the Learning Curve 42

4 Swept Away: The Oceans as Global Dumpster 57

5 The Plastic Sea Around Us 75

6 The Invention of throwaway Living 93

7 Harm 109

8 The Plastic Age 126

9 Gonzo Science 152

10 The Message Finds its Medium 171

11 Net Losses 191

12 Indigestible 210

13 Bad Chemistry 240

14 Debris Forensics 269

15 Erasing Our Plastic Footprint 292

16 Refuse 319

Afterword 338

Acknowledgments 358

Sources and Resources 362

Index 367

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A hero . . . Moore is the first person to have pursued serious scientific research by sampling the garbage patch." —-The New York Times

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