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The incredible journey of the electronic plastic bottle

the Zoological Society of London
the University of Exeter
the Trash Free Seas Program
Professor Trash Wheel
Condé Nast
Affiliate Partnerships

Matt SimonTo
Alasdair Davies
Emily Duncan
Nicholas Mallos


the Ganges River
the Bay of Bengal
the Ocean Conservancy
the Atlantic Ocean

the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Baltimore Harbor


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The New York Times
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You see, Davies, along with conservation scientist Emily Duncan of the University of Exeter and other researchers, had not long before released the bottle and nine others into the Ganges as part of a clever experiment to show how plastic pollution moves through rivers and eventually out to sea. But the researchers also wanted to see how plastic bottles might behave once they get to the ocean. (Their designs are open source, so any plastic researcher can build their own, and even improve upon the system.)For both versions of the device, they had to figure out how to make an electronics-stuffed tube behave like a real piece of plastic trash. This new work’s findings lend strong real-world evidence to back up that dynamic: The electronic bottles tended to hug the coastline, traveling hundreds of miles parallel to it instead of immediately washing far out to sea.“Oceanographic models can highlight and provide valuable insight into how plastics likely move in the ocean,” says Nicholas Mallos, senior director of the Trash Free Seas Program at the Ocean Conservancy, who wasn’t involved in the new research. It’s such a good idea that The Ocean Cleanup made their own version for deployment at the mouths of the world’s rivers.As these new electronic bottles clearly demonstrate, plastic can float hundreds of miles, and maybe more, downstream in rivers. In other words, it’s not just coastal cities that are loading rivers with plastic bottles that make a journey of maybe a few miles to the sea, but cities up and down the length of the river.Bottles are only part of the problem—a galaxy of other plastic products, like containers and wraps, are making their way into rivers and into the sea.

As said here by Matt Simon