Global warming isn’t the only thing that’s killing this planet. Another controllable and sad process that we are causing is marine trash pollution. What if I told you that there is a literal island of plastic trash in the Pacific Ocean that is the size (and I’m not joking here) of Texas? Plastic in the ocean kills 40% of the young Ablatross Chicks in the same region:
The albatross chick jumped to its feet, eyes alert and focused. At 5 months, it stood 18 inches tall and was fully feathered except for the fuzz that fringed its head.
All attitude, the chick straightened up and clacked its beak at a visitor, then rocked back and dangled webbed feet in the air to cool them in the afternoon breeze.
The next afternoon, the chick ignored passersby. The bird was flopped on its belly, its legs splayed awkwardly. Its wings drooped in the hot sun. A few hours later, the chick was dead.
John Klavitter, a wildlife biologist, turned the bird over and cut it open with a knife. Probing its innards with a gloved hand, he pulled out a yellowish sac — its stomach.
Out tumbled a collection of red, blue and orange bottle caps, a black spray nozzle, part of a green comb, a white golf tee and a clump of tiny dark squid beaks ensnared in a tangle of fishing line.
“This is pretty typical,” said Klavitter, who is stationed at the atoll for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We often find cigarette lighters, bucket handles, toothbrushes, syringes, toy soldiers — anything made out of plastic.”
It’s all part of a tide of plastic debris that has spread throughout the world’s oceans, posing a lethal hazard to wildlife, even here, more than 1,000 miles from the nearest city.
And it’s not only the seagulls, it’s other marine animals and birds and it’s almost all caused by discarded plastic items. This is simply sad. According to the same article from the LA Times, 80% of marine trash washes into the ocean from our streets and on the land here. That’s simply litter that we didn’t care to dispose of properly.
The article goes on to say that most all of the plastic that made it into the ocean over the past 50 years is still floating around somewhere. It simply doesn’t compose. So what can we do? First off, I’m not a fan of recycling because it simply doesn’t work in the current context of our economy. No matter how much plastic we recycle, new plastic will still be created. If we were serious about taking care of the planet we would stop making new plastic entirely. All plastic then could be recycled and reused. That to me makes sense.
Also, we should (as best we can) fight the wasteful packaging of items. You know what I’m talking about here. You buy a simple tiny thing and it ends up being delivered in 5 metric tons of plastic for no good reason. Blister packs, boxes, etc. A mess and we can figt it by selectively boycotting stuff.. Surely there is always another version of something. This country does not lack for choice.
But even easier is the fact that we can stop littering. It seems simple, but it is a huge issue. My goodness, I see it all the time. People just dropping their trash to the ground without a care in the world. What is wrong with these people? We have to stop littering, how hard is that? How much of an inconvenience is that?
Man.. To think if we would just have a congress or a president that actually cared about the environment. I’m not having kids, but a lot of people are and the world they are leaving them is one sorry place and the worst part of it all is that its all our doing.