Oceans of Plastic: Understanding and Solving a Pollution Problem
CSIRO Publishing, 2022
120oo., pbk., RRP $A29.99
Take a look into the night sky. If you’re lucky enough to live where there is no light pollution, as we do, you will see so many stars you will never count them. Yet it’s now estimated that there are more pieces of plastic in the ocean than visible stars in the Milky Way!
THAT is the sort of analogy that might make the general public begin to appreciate why the movement to ban single-use plastics is gathering such momentum, but in this new book for upper primary+, readers learn how ocean systems and swirling currents bring plastics together into massive ocean garbage patches. It also uncovers the floating world of the ‘plastisphere’ – a mini community of microbes living on ocean plastics – and explains how plastic breaks up, not down, and can even end up on their dinner plate!
But how did this revolutionary new material first invented in 1869 to free manufacturing from the constraints of natural materials and then its exponential explosion following World War II become such a problem, and why IS it a problem?
In easily-accessible text with lots of diagrams and photos, the reader is taken on a journey that covers everything from why the oceans are important, what the plastic pollution does and how we can make a difference, There are such simple, everyday changes that we can each make such as having a refillable drink bottle or nude food in our lunchboxes (as kids, our sandwiches were always wrapped in paper, not cling wrap) that collectively will make such a difference. Now that single-use plastic bags are now banned Australia-wide with NSW finally coming on board on June 1 this year, it seems that the issue is now being recognised for the crisis it is.
This book gives our students the knowledge and understanding that they need, not only to argue with nay-sayers and justify their arguments, but also to move the changes forward. Using the suggestions for individual change, what could be done at the school level so that our oceans have a fighting chance to keep everyone healthy?
A must-have for any school that has the protection of the environment within its curriculum.