surfrider_bags

The Problem with Plastic

They call it The Great Pacific Garbage Patch but really, there’s nothing great about it. Located in the North Pacific Ocean, the garbage patch is really just an enormous amount of plastic litter –– our litter –– that’s ended up in the sea.

What kind of litter? Plastic garbage that’s non biodegradable –– meaning it does not wear down but instead simply breaks into tinier and tinier pieces that never go away. These tiny particles, called microplastics, get caught in ocean gyres (swirling whirlpools) and turn the ocean into a plastic soup.

What’s the problem? Plastic contains toxins that are then ingested by fish and other marine life, sending toxins up the food chain that eventually get consumed by all of us. And larger pieces of plastic tangle and kill sea life.

So how can we fix it? By using and buying less plastic; skip the single use plastic water bottles and instead use a reusable one; say no to plastic bags at the grocery store. And very importantly, recycle. We have just one Earth and we really need to take care of it.

[A sea of jellyfish in the photo above? More like a sea of plastic bags … that can take anywhere from ten to 100 years or more to decompose. This brilliant photo (meant to get your attention) is from the Surfrider Foundation, an organization working to protect our oceans and beaches. To learn more about their campaign called Rise Above Plastics, go here, and for One World One Ocean’s breakdown on plastics, go here.]

 

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