I recently watched a documentary called “Plastic Paradise” that really opened my eyes. It focused on the great pacific garbage patch, ever heard of it? Here’s a link to the According to the documentary “Plastic Paradise:”
EVERY single piece of plastic that has ever been created since the 19th century is STILL somewhere on this planet.
Think about that, it never goes away. So where is it going? The Pacific Ocean.
GarbagePatch.net explained that this garbage patch is basically comparable to a “big soup of plastic floating in the ocean like oil does. Plastic is not biodegradable so it breaks down into particles just few of a millimeter. Ocean currents basically create a vortex that pushes all of the garbage to the middle. Before you get this idea of a giant island of plastic floating in the middle of the ocean, National Geographic offers a more clear explanation as to what this looks like. The garbage patch is made up of tiny bits of plastic, referred to as microplastics. These microplastics cannot be seen by the naked eye, in fact satellite imagery doesn’t even show a giant patch of garbage.
Why should you care about this? Its not like we live in the ocean..
First off, there is a huge impact on the marine life as well as animals on neighboring islands. For instance, the Albatross bird is something that is affected by this. A substantial amount of this garbage is washing onto the shores of islands in the pacific. These birds are eating garbage and then dying with bellies literally full of plastic. Pictured below is one many birds that have died as a result of this.
Fish are also affected by this, and guess what this one even affects you. A case study done at Montana State University revealed that plastic breaks down in the ocean and releases numerous toxins into the water. Fish then eat these toxic microplastics and then we eat these contaminated fish. Not only should you care about what is happening to marine life and how it effects you- you should recognize that the ocean is not the landfill we have been treating it as.
I highly recommend that you make an effort to watch the film “Plastic Paradise,” it will change your view on a lot of things that you do in your everyday lives. But what can you do to help?
REDUCE YOUR PLASTIC CONSUMPTION!!!
Tree Hugger offered a list of 11 things that you can do to reduce your plastic waste today.
- Use reusable shopping bags. Between 5 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are used per year around the world.
- Get a reusable water bottle.
- Bring your own thermos to the coffee shop.
- Choose cardboard over plastic bottles and bags.
- Say no to straws.
- Stop using face wash with plastic microbeads!
- No disposable razors!
- If you’re a lady, look into alternatives to certain plastic heavy period products.
- Use glass for food storage.
- If you have a baby look into cloth diapers
- Shop in bulk to reduce packaging waste
Try and reduce your plastic consumption!