For Hawai‘i’s marine life, plastic foam is a foe

Discarded bottle caps, toothbrushes, computer monitors and about every size and color of broken-down plastics line Kamilo Beach on the Big Island. One of the most polluted beaches in the world, it’s the unfortunate recipient of debris on its way to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a massive depository of plastics floating in the Pacific Ocean estimated to be larger than the size of Texas.

But these are just the plastics you see. There are also the plastics you don’t see — many of which come from plastic foam. Technically called expanded polystyrene, the foam breaks down into tiny, even microscopic, parts, sinks and is ingested by fish and other marine life.

Read the whole story at Civil Beat.

• Honolulu Civil Beat is an online news source serving Hawai‘i. Read more at www.CivilBeat.com.

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