A Dangerous Truth on Trash Pollution
Posted on March 5th, 2015 by Ferocious Media
The ocean is a big place. Powerful tides from all around the world intersect in areas creating vortexes known as gyres. Plastic and other waste remains trapped in these gyres as the tides flow through. These polluted gyres create very inhospitable places for fish, birds and other mammals. Pollution is extremely high and the damage to the oceans ecosystems is unsustainable.
One of Many
According to Garbagepatch.net, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the most well known gyre that poses a serious risk to all living things on earth. There are multiple “garbage patches” across the world’s oceans. With increasing waste production, these “garbage patches” are only getting larger and more common. There are two problems we need to solve. How can we reduce the amount of waste entering the oceans? And how can we clean up what is already there?
Plastic and Some
Plastic is not the only hazardous material that pollutes garbage patches. Discarded fishing nets and other man-made materials pose serious problems for the future of our oceans. Society needs to take a better look at the full lifecycle of many products. Nature is full of materials that can provide equal or superior quality without the negative health effects and pollution.
Plastic Lasts How Long?
Plastic has been designed to last for a very long time even though it is frequently used as a single use disposable product. Plastic never fully degrades. It breaks down to the point where it becomes translucent and smaller than a few millimeters. These “plastic soup” gathers a few feet below the waters surface. A very small percentage of plastic produced is actually recycled. Large portions are buried underground or tossed into the ocean where it is left to cause problems elsewhere.
Most of the time, it is the animals that suffer. The oceans are full of wildlife, a lot, of which we know very little about. We know one thing for sure; these animals cannot live on a diet of bottle caps and plastic bags. How would you like swimming around in a pool filled with trash?
How We Can Help?
Large plastic manufacturers are externalizing some of the costs associated with the production of plastic. By making these same companies account for the full lifecycle of their products, it would lead to research and development of natural plastics that are biodegradable. This is not too large of a problem to solve. Our community created this problem; we are going to have to solve it as well.