Scientists part of team that points to strong connection between climate change, plastics pollution

This article from Science Daily is produced by the University of Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island researchers Andrew Davies and Coleen Suckling say that when a major hurricane churns up storm surges and heavy, drenching rains, the storm washes trash from the land into our rivers and coasts.

Among the items being transported are plastics, the ubiquitous consumer material that is found in many products and packaging. The problem is that plastic takes an exceptionally long time to break down in the natural environment. Some plastic trash ends up in harbors, estuaries and on land. But much of it continues to be circulated throughout the ocean and can settle onto the seafloor.

At the root of global climate change and the worldwide plastics pollution problem are two related carbon-based fuels — oil and natural gas. Not only are the two among the key drivers of climate change, they are instrumental in the manufacturing of plastics. As storms intensify and become more frequent, the movement of trash from land to our oceans, and vice versa, is only going to get worse.

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