Discard Studies shares Max Liboiron’s engrossing, and depressing, account of the ocean’s toxic soup of plastics.

A few quotes:

“The best conservative estimate we have is that there are 315 billion pounds of plastic in the ocean. For comparison, The Gulf Spill spewed roughly 2.5 million pounds of oil per day at its peak.  That makes it would take 345 years of oil leaking to reach the same amount of plastic that is already in the ocean.” [...]

“Both body burdens and ocean plastics are folded into complex living systems rather than operating as discrete poisons or foreign trespassers. Plastics are mistaken as food; they move up the food chain. Endocrine disruptors act like hormones—bodies don’t reject them, they use them. Both become part of a living system. So the idea of a discrete, traceable effluent scientists can clearly correlate with one health effect is no longer valid.”

Plastics are not objects so much as they are processes, together making up a larger, global process we might call “plasticization.” Understanding the intricacies of plasticization — its different forms, rates/velocities, and possibilities for intervention — is something we’re only beginning to do. The “21st century theory” of plastics Liboiron calls for advances on the previous century’s by recognizing the ubiquity and insidious globality of this process and its devastating effects on systems and bodies everywhere.

Read the whole article at your own peril.

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