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Future Fossils: Plastic Stone - Essay Example

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The author reports of discovery of plastiglomerate, a resultant substance from a mixture of natural and manmade materials. According to the author, plastic…
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Future Fossils: Plastic Stone
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Download file to see previous pages Charles Moore of Algalita Marine Research Institute was the first to identify plastiglomerate during his research on plastic along the polluted Kamilo beach that accumulates garbage due to nature of current around it. He noted embedded plastic on rocks and took photos for studies but the discovery remained insignificant until the year 2012 when Moore delivered a lecture at Western University in Ontario, courtesy of Dr. Patricia Corcoran. Inclusion of the discovery in his lecture prompted further research by Corcoran who sampled 205 specimens of embedded plastics on rocks (Nuwer, 2014).
Several hypotheses were proposed into the discovery but countered. Moore proposed possible effects of volcanic activities at Kilauea but lava from the site has not reached the beach in the recent past. Possible effects of bonfire were also proposed but dismissed. Another hypothesis into the formation was burning of plastics as a disposal strategy. Corcoran believes that plastiglomerates exists across the world, only that they could have not been identified or reported. She further classifies plastiglomerates as stones and not rocks because of the artificial aspects but this does not alter the materials’ lifespan. The author concludes that human activities are significant to the environment and associated effects such as developed plastics and plastiglomerates will be long-term evidence of human existence on earth (Nuwer, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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