The Plastic in Paint Is Massively Polluting the Ocean

Jeremy Miller for The Sierra Club Plastics & Pollution

The Plastic in Paint Is Massively Polluting the Ocean
Bidgee, CC BY-SA 3.0 AU on WikiMedia

When I lived in New York City, I often marveled at the massive human effort employed in service of maintaining the city’s aging infrastructure, namely its beautiful bridges. Elaborate, tinker-toy-like sets of scaffolding would emerge around the George Washington, Queensboro, and Manhattan Bridges, seemingly overnight. The scaffolding, in most cases, had not been erected for major structural repair but for routine maintenance—specifically, so that the bridges could be painted. Keeping the George Washington Bridge covered in paint was a 365-day-a-year job. A virtual army of painters in hardhats and harnesses continually scuttled across the span, tight-roping the cables, touching up nicks in the coat with hand rollers dripping silver paint.

Read about the devastating impact of paint on our planet.

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