I don’t know what it is about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that makes me feel so profoundly sad. Actually, I do. Just a century plus change since the industrial revolution, and the oceans, which have existed in perfect, bounteous balance for billions of years, have become a garbage dump – and not the kind we can build a baseball field on top of.
100 million tons of plastic now swirl in the vortex — so much plastic that samples show plastic particles outnumbering zooplankton by a ratio of six to one.
This plastic ends up in the stomachs of marine birds and animals. In fact, one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die globally each year due to ingestion of or entanglement in plastics.
I like the way care2 is running this petition. Rather than yet another unanswerable call to law-makers, it’s a pledge to become conscious. To notice the plastic you’re consuming that might be avoidable… and to avoid where you can.
- Using reusable bottles for my water and other drinks. By using just one reusable bottle, I will keep 167 single-use plastic bottles from entering the environment.
- Using cloth bags for groceries and other purchases. For each reusable bag I use, I will save approximately 400 plastics from being used.
- Recycling the plastic bags and bottles I already have. For every thirteen plastic bags I don’t use, I will save enough petroleum to drive a car one mile.
Remember: In the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle hierarchy, Reduce comes first.
Update: Definitely check out this cnet piece on a pair of sailors traveling from CA to Hawaii in a junk made of junk. Also some staggering facts in that piece, which pegs the plastic/plankton ratio at 48/1.