Living With Less Plastic
This is an ocean full of plastic exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In parts of the country that do not border the great oceans or other waterways, it can be challenging to understand what the fuss is all about. We put our plastic in our recycling bins or garbage cans and it is taken away, right? Why ban it or swear off it's use?
Coming to the Pacific is eye opening. Plastic is literally flowing into the ocean and choking it. We consider ourselves lucky to walk the beach on a regular basis, but every time we are there we are picking up plastic along the way. The creatures living in all of our oceans are feeling the impact of plastic.
No creature is immune to the impact of this invasion. Dead animals washed on shore are found with pounds of the stuff inside their stomachs. It literally is killing them.
There are vast seas of plastic stuck between ocean currents in huge islands of waste. What is known as the Pacific Gyre is now estimated to be larger than the size of France. It's a real thing.
We can't quite figure out why there isn't a world-wide call of alarm from governments to clean the oceans and create a global solution to the plastic problem.
This garbage dump is growing and not only are the islands in the Pacific being inundated with plastic waste washing to their shores, but the fish living in the oceans are full of it as well. As a result, because we consume this fish, we are also becoming full of it.
Although not visible to the naked eye, we indeed are consuming plastic. The plastic we use comes from petroleum. Petroleum has been a godsend to humanity in so many ways but it is time to give up our old ways. We now know better. In the ocean plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller particles which become part of our food chain. Eating plastic is bad for our health. That is not a political debate. It is scientific fact.
Direct toxicity from plastics comes from lead, cadmium, and mercury. These toxins have also been found in many fish in the ocean, which is very dangerous for humans. Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) contained in some plastics, is a toxic carcinogen. Other toxins in plastics are directly linked to cancers, birth defects, immune system problems, and childhood developmental issues. (See THIS.)
Something needs to be done.
Enter The Great Ocean Clean Up. Boyan Slat is a Dutch student and inventor. When he personally came face to face with a deluge of plastic while on a diving trip in 2011, he was compelled to do something about it. Since that time, and with the support of forward thinking leaders, he launched The Ocean CleanUp and in On September 8, The Ocean Cleanup launched its first cleanup system into the North Pacific. After successful trials 350 nautical miles offshore, they set course to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the project estimates that by 2020 it will be in full scale operation to clean the oceans. (Learn more HERE.)
Our young people are leading the way in cleaning our environment and fighting for the future of our planet. While older generations are still consumed with creating personal wealth, young people are consumed with creating a world where humans can thrive. We can no longer live in denial that human activity is rapidly deteriorating the health of the environment.
So for no reason other than we want to be healthy we need to reduce our plastic consumption dramatically. But also because we love our oceans and their beauty and biodiversity. Let's really love our God-given oceans so they continue to love us back. When you purchase products that use plastic, make sure it is recycled plastic and please, in turn, recycle your plastics. Refrain from single-use plastics and be conscientious. A little bit of thoughtfulness can go a long way.
~The Makes 3 Organics® Team
#organicforeveryone I makes3organics.com I @makes3organics