A fairly new (from August 2010) blog called Discard Studies explores the contemporary throw-away culture.
One of their recent hot topics is plastic pollution of the oceans. All oceans, especially the North Pacific, contains millions of tons of discarded man-made plastic items. They are largely non-biodegradable, which means they will only disappear slowly through physical wear — which can take many decades for a plastic bottle.
I wonder how much of this plastic pollution consists of disposable medical plastics (syringes, gloves, desinfectant wipes, urinary swabs, stool caps, drainage bags, ostomy bags — you name it)?
(For an earlier post on disposable plastics in biomedicine, see here.)