Tuesday, March 8, 2011

plastic island.

ever wonder where all your discarded water bottles, coke bottles, and plastic packaging go? there's a chance that at least some of it has found its way to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as plastic island. this is no joke, there really is an island of plastic floating in the pacific that is estimated to be TWICE the size of TEXAS. it's not a literal island that you can boat up to and anchor down, it's more of an island of floating particles. the pictures above are for an idea of how much waste is out there. there aren't any actual pictures of plastic island.

plastic island is home to tons of plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris. this seems to be America's best kept secret. hardly anyone i know has heard of this and i myself had not heard about it until about two months ago. i decided to attempt to spread a little bit of awareness on this issue.

my first question when i heard about plastic island was obvious. how did all of that plastic get into the ocean? 80% of the garbage is believed to come from land based sources and 20% comes from ships. one of the most alarming matters to me is that this plastic actually makes its way into our food chain because as it photodegrades it becomes smaller and smaller until even the tiniest aquatic life can consume it. pollutants on plastic island range in size from fishing nets to micro-pellets used in abrasive cleaners.

what can we do to help? such simple efforts can help tremendously such as bringing your own reusable grocery bags to the store each and every time you go to avoid using all of those plastic grocery bags. if we quit using them, grocery stores will simply stop producing them. stop buying bottled water. this sounds radical to some i'm sure, but in a country where clean water is readily available and sometimes even free there is simply no need to buy bottled water. if everyone in America would buy a reusable bottle such as Klean Kanteen to fill up at work, school, or on the go the result would be tremendous for our environment. and of course, of course, recycling! reduce, reuse, recycle. those three words make a world of difference.

i'm afraid that our culture has become so fixated on convenience that we forfeit our health and the health of our planet. i think back to the good ole days when milk was bought weekly and delivered in glass jugs that were reused over and over again and wonder why we have strayed so much from those principles. who made these rules that every single product i buy has to come in individual plastic packaging?

No comments:

Post a Comment