Not too many surprises, just confirmation that there's an obscene amount of plastic debris floating in the ocean, causing a great deal of harm to marine life that confuses plastic with food.
While they expedition team was at sea, new research found that it's not just debris that's a problem. Turns out the plastic decomposes in seawater, leaving behind a soup of toxic chemicals that poses an additional set of problems for marine life.
It's a wake-up call to deal with how we use plastics. Here at Monterey Bay Aquarium, our cafe has eliminated all plastic straws and disposable beverage cups, and switched to plant-based materials for "plastic" food containers. We're reducing the amount of disposable plastic used elsewhere -- including encouragement for our vendors not to use plastic shrink-wrap on products they ship to us.
And our Laysan albatross, Makana, is a great ambassador for cleaner oceans.
It will take more, to be sure. But one step at a time.