Australian Geographic - - Your Say -

At last, some good re­search find­ings on the prob­lem of plas­tic rub­bish in the ocean. But as is of­ten true with new find­ings, new ques­tions open up:

1. The world’s 10 worst ocean plas­tic pol­luters do not in­clude Aus­tralia.

How much im­pact can our at­tempts to fight the prob­lem re­ally have?

2. The top 10 ma­rine de­bris items are over­whelm­ingly dom­i­nated by footwear/thongs, bot­tle tops/caps, coloured plas­tic bot­tles, and clear plas­tic bot­tles. Plas­tic bags, to which so

much at­ten­tion has re­cently been fo­cused in Aus­tralia, rank fifth, a com­par­a­tively slim slice of the de­bris pie. Are we at­tack­ing the wrong prob­lem?

3. How does that plas­tic de­bris end up in the ocean? Your ar­ti­cle sug­gests that it may be things tossed over­board from boats.

It is not ob­vi­ous how plas­tic bags, pre­sum­ably put into the rub­bish and hauled to be buried in dump­ing ar­eas, can be a cause.

Let’s have more re­search stud­ies into this mas­sive prob­lem and ar­ti­cles like yours pre­sent­ing those re­search find­ings. ROBERT L. GLASS,TOOWONG, QLD

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