Thursday, June 04, 2009

Plastic Taking Over Pacific Ocean



The plastic that is thrown out a window today, finds it way to the creek and then the river and, finally, the ocean.

Mussels have microscopic bits of plastic in their blood. Seabirds starve to death because their bellies are full of trash instead of fish. Seals are pooping out bits of colored plastic. Hermit Crabs live in plastic bottle caps rather than shells. Birds are building nests out of drinking straws, ear swabs and plastic twine. (Message in a Bottle, May/June 2009, Sierra Magazine).

The Garbage Patch (western Pacific gyre) is now estimated to be 2-3 the size of Texas, with some estimates as high as 5 million square miles. That is 1-1/2 the size of the continental USA! The Garbage Patch has been encountered 500 miles of California and 200 miles off the coast of Japan. There is now evidence of an eastern Pacific gyre.

The answer: cut off plastic at the source. Manufacturers and distributors of these plastic parts will have to become responsible. We may see the end of Styrofoam containers in restaurants, plastic lids and straws may disappear from McDonald's, and runoff laws may tighten for cities.

Whether it will enough and timely is another question entirely. What can you do? Stop using plastic. Buy ceramic coffee mugs and steel liquid containers and keep at home, in your car, and at work. Do not reuse plastic bottles as BPAs may be released into the drink. Shop for alternatives to plastic storage containers, especially when used for storing food or drink for children.


7 comments:

myphemaster said...

The first paragraph is sure an eye opener. I've been told a bit of that information when I was in high school.

If only we could overcome selfishness, and try to do alternatives from the harmful traditional ways of living, we will be able to gain back in the long term.

Zero-waste is possible, I've seen a woman on TV practicing this kind of Healthy and Admirable lifestyle. We all can do that, we just have to have a strong sense of responsibility for our planet.

edos said...

Zero-waste is possible, I've seen a woman on TV practicing this kind of Healthy and Admirable lifestyle. We all can do that, we just have to have a strong sense of responsibility for our planet. Lets be sincere, you know that would be very difficult if not impossible to achieve.

Steve said...

Littering is something that I would not do.

sovi said...

this planet immediately need our concern. And yeah.. zero-waste is possible. We have to socialize that program to all and hopping everyone have more responsibility to take care this planet..

Tipsy said...

I've read somewhere that lots of fish are almost all plastic inside. And then we're eating that! People who throw this stuff away should realise that.

Small Footprints said...

Wonderful article. I believe that zero waste is possible ... at the very least, it's something that we each should aim for. Plastic is a terrible substance, causing dead zones and food contamination. Sure, eliminating plastic will be difficult but there's a lot we can do ... using reusable bags, bags made out of corn or soy, and paying close attention to the packaging of everything we buy. Sure it takes effort ... but nothing worthwhile comes easy.

BTW ... I challenged my readers, this week, to not accept plastic bags from any source. One week ... no plastic!

Small Footprints
http://reducefootprints.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it is right place to write here. But I am a baby boomer and m looking for more baby boomers to connect.I want all the baby boomers of the world under one root, under one society.
I hope you will appreciate and join the cause.

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