Everett Cafe News: Oceans of Plastic

| July 5, 2018

180702_Display_1080x1920In early June some 80 plastic bags and other plastic items were found jammed into the belly of a small male pilot whale that died in Thailand after five days of a desperate rescue effort by veterinarians and marine officials. Mistaken for food, seventeen pounds of plastic caused the whale to sicken and starve — a profound example of the problem of man-made pollution in our oceans.

I first heard this sad news from a shop owner who appreciated my decline of the inevitable plastic bag for items, including some contained in plastic which I opted to stuff into a large fabric purse. We commiserated over the counter, knowing that plastic is wreaking havoc on our planet. While a cheap and durable necessity in our everyday lives, it needs to be used far more than just once to justify.

While it may the largest and most well known, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or Pacific Trash Vortex, is not alone; gigantic trash colonies are trapped in massive gyres swirling around the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic oceans — to such a degree that by 2050 we may have more plastic than fish in our waters! Yes, that’s right. Roughly 8-15 million tons of plastic per year pour into the ocean — much of it single use — straws, bags, bottles, common household items, not re-used, re-duced, or re-cycled, but simply made to be thrown away… devastatingly. Think about the next time you grab a coffee stirrer, straw or cup — and consider simple, reliable, long-term alternatives — metal spoon, mug, maybe even no straw at all.

Plastic_AToxins and plastics ingested by fish or sea creatures pass through the food chain, as the garbage keeps accumulating— some of it buried beneath the water’s surface! Did you know that halfway between New Zealand and Chile lies the uninhabited Henderson Island which tops the “polluted by plastics” list? As of 2018, this World Heritage Site recorded a whopping 18 tons of plastic debris, or close to 40 million tons of junk —  oceans upon oceans of plastic washed up by several continents, but also lying broken down into particles below the white sand!

Oceans of Plastic builds upon green initiatives for World Environment Day, June 5th, 2018, whose theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution“, as it supports the Library’s Learning Theater event, “Makers of the Deep”, a week-long educational activity designed for the Hollingworth Center summer science campers.

Curated by library staff and designed by Angela Perrone, EdLab Services Associate, this display incorporates research, narrative journey, children’s books, and practical ideas for addressing the pressing problem of plastic.


I'm_Not_A_Pastic_BagAllison, Rachel Hope. I’m Not a Plastic Bag. Los Angeles: Archaia, 2012.

Cafe PN6727.A4173 I6 2012




Tracking_TrashBurns, Loree Griffin. Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Books for Young Readers, 2007.

Cafe GC232 .B87 2007




GyreDecker, Julie.  Gyre: The Plastic Ocean.  London: Booth Clibborn, 2014.

Cafe N8217.E28 G97 2014




Junk_RaftEriksen, Marcus. Junk Raft: An Ocean Voyage and a Rising Tide of Activism to Fight Plastic Pollution. Boston: Beacon Press, 2017.

Cafe  GC1471 .E75 2017



Plastic_A_Toxic_Love_StoryFreinkel, Susan. Plastic: A Toxic Love Story.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2011. Cafe  TP1120 .F74 2011





Moby_DuckHohn, Donovan. Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea & of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists & Fools Including the Author Who Went in Search of Them. New York: Penguin Books, 2012.

Cafe GC231.2 .H65 2012



How_to_Give_Up_PlasticMcCallum, Will.  How to Give Up Plastic: A Guide to Changing the World, One Plastic Bottle at a Time. London: Penguin Life, 2018.

Cafe TBA




Ocean_ChampionsMech, Michelle.  Ocean Champions: A Journey into Seas of Plastic. Oceans Awareness, 2017.

Cafe TBA




Plastic_OceanMoore, Charles.  Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain’s Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans. New York: Avery/Penguin, 2012.

Cafe GC1085 .M67 2012




Plastic_AhoyNewman, Patricia. Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press Trade/Lerner, 2014.

Cafe GC1090 .N48 2014




Great_Pacific_Garbage_PatchPerdew, Laura. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  Minneapolis, MN: Essential Library/ABDO, 2017.

Cafe GC1471 .P47 2018




Pladtic_PurgeSanClements, Michael. Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles!   New York: St Martin’s Griffin, 2014.

Cafe TP1122 .S24 2014



Trash_VortexSmith-Llera, Danielle. Trash Vortex: How Plastic Pollution Is Choking the World’s Oceans. Captured Science History, 2018.

Cafe GC1090 .B87 2018




At the Everett News Cafe, you’ll find a new book collection every few weeks that relates to current affairs, education, or learning environments.