The Rubber Duck Castaway
In 2007, a rather unusual group of castaways washed ashore in northern France. They were rubber ducks that had completed a 15-year-long epic journey, started in January 1992 when a ship travelling from Hong Kong to the United States lost some of its cargo during a storm. One of the containers washed overboard held 28 800 toys, some of which had landed on the Australian and the east coast of the United States years earlier.
Rubber ducks are not the only form of man‑made litter drifting in our seas, lakes and rivers (unfortunately). Marine litter consists of manufactured or processed solid materials (e.g. plastic, glass, metal and wood), which end up in the marine environment in one way or another.
Unlike organic materials, plastic never ‘disappears’ in nature and accumulates in the environment, in the oceans in particular. Sunlight, salt water and waves split plastics into ever-smaller pieces. A disposable diaper or a plastic bottle can take around 500 years to split into such microscopic pieces
The full extent of the impacts of marine litter is difficult to estimate. Marine litter has two key adverse effects on marine wild life: ingestion and entanglement.
Although marine litter is only one of the pressures on the health of the marine environment, it is a growing concern. The accumulation and long endurance of plastics in nature complicates the issue further.
You can continue the duck tale here if you wish.
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