The ever growing progression of civilization has achieved countless great advancements of technology, simplifying the way we live our lives. From the methods we build our houses, to the way we eat our food, to the way we travel the world. Despite being warned that the grim fate of our world is just over the horizon, we could drastically reduce these risks by adopting greener lifestyles. We chose to continue living the way we are acclimatized to. But at what cost?
Collectively, the world produces around 2.6 trillion tonnes of waste annually, with over 50% being taken to landfills situated either at sea or near coastal areas. Weathering such as rain, wind and storms cause these landfills to leech harmful toxins into the ocean. It is estimated that a colossal 8 million metric tonnes of this waste enters the ocean annually, potentially harming sea life who commonly mistake it for food.
Ocean waste accumulation is predicted to increase 10 fold if relevant changes are not made. In fact, recent events have given us a glimpse of the world’s possible future.
In the central North Pacific Ocean, lies “The Great Garbage Patch”. Reportedly, this area has the highest abundance of waste, plastics and chemical sludge of any ocean, and is estimated to weigh at least one million tonnes.
There are also five other similar locations. The collection of waste has been a result of oceanic currents, drawing in waste material from pacific coastal regions, and wind-driven surface movements which trap the debris in the center of the region.
Since the early 20th century, debris has been found within marine species. However, little is still known on how larger marine mammals ingest it. In early 2013, a study released by the Marine Pollution Bulletin, explained the impacts of plastics entering whales’ diets. It was discovered that whales cannot digest plastic; therefore it just sits within their stomach and eventually blocks the digestive tract. This unmovable blockage will cause the whales to feel full, and they will therefore stop eating, causing the whales to either die of starvation or from gastric rupture.
Over the past few years, dead whales have been consistently washing up on shores around the world. Their autopsies have provided clear evidence which suggests that the ingestion of plastics and waste has caused these gentle giants deaths.
In July 2013, a sperm whale was stranded on Tershelling, an island situated off the coast of the Netherlands. After examination, the whale was found to have ingested over 56 different plastic items, which totaled 12.2kg. A similar occurrence happened in March 2013, on Spain’s south coast when it was found that a sperm whale washed ashore had ingested 17kg of plastic.
The number of beached whales with stomachs full of plastic is steadily increasing. Unfortunately, these events are not uncommon; for years, multiple cases of beached whales which have ingested fishing lines, plastics and waste have been documented.
Our planet is desperately urging us to change our wasteful habits. Green technology is quickly becoming more readily available and should be utilized by governments and communities all over the world. If you live by the coast, spending just an hour a week cleaning the beach would help the species that inhabit the waters. Recycle your plastics to avoid them going into landfills, and replace your disposable plastic bags with reusable alternatives.
World ocean day is coming up soon (5th of June), hold an event to raise awareness of the current situations that threaten our sea’s. Collectively, we can improve the well-being of our planet and all species that exist within it.
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The plastic grocery store bag was going to save the trees.
WATCH WHAT YOU WISH FOR!
Hello ..do you think we could STOP MAKING PLASTIC’S! Create jobs IN AMERICA and go back to GLASS! OMG I can’t believe we are under the control of such horrific sociopaths called the government aka bankers, corporate ect. omg Americans need to rise up against this insanity but wait we can’t because plastics are turning our men into girls, little passive pansies….look it up people plastic is changing boys. Everyone needs to stop using it. Oh but that might be inconvient…see the world and its life forms are screwed; why do I even read this stuff. Nothing is going to get better because people are blind and stupid just like the the elite (Obama and his buddies) have said.
Dear Belinda the “Problem” is so much larger than most people can comprehend. First: While “Going Green” is admirable, morally praiseworthy, more and more available, etc… What it comes down to is that for the large corporations who own and run the planet renewable energy and “Saving the planet” is not convenient… Consumables are the ally of profit and the world revolves around exactly that… Money… The more money, the better… Any action or choice that has less gain is the “Bad” one to make, as a result it is never made. And second “Obama and his buddies” are not the cause of the problem. (While I agree that they are ignorant to the ills which afflict our planet) Obama and his buddies are just puppets controlled by a larger power all of which revolves around money. I applaud your patriotism and encourage your action and in no way disagree with what you say. I would simply like to add to your words to help others understand and encourage them to join the fight against corruption.
~We are the 99 percent.
We cannot blame the government for it is on the backs of Americans. The citizens far outnumber them but we are apathetic. Especially white people. Sit in your house waste water buy your food that you don’t know where it came from andshocked when you get a disease buy those inferior products from china that last a day and never return because you knew it was crap to begin with. Just bend over and take it. Let the buyer beware is exactly our doom. We bought this government and we are not being protected. How many letters have you written? How many protests have you attended? NONE! We need a white MLK that can bring us all together because black people can’t do it all by themselves.
It only makes sense to stop making plastic. If plastic wasn’t turning our men into girls perhaps they would stand up against the insanity consuming America today. Glass is a perfect alternative and it would create jobs. But that would actually be good for the country and the environment. WE NEED TO STOP THE PRODUCTION OF PLASTIC! It should have never been put on the market in the first place. Isn’t it fun being guinea pigs people.
I’ll feel sorry for all the Bull Dykes if they stop making plastic. No more artificial weiners for them.
Do you dumbasses really believe this bullshit? If so go hang yourself off your favorite spirit tree!!!! Damn what stupid people, do any of you know, and the recent event is proof. What releases the most pollution in the world? Oh that’s right! Good ole mother FUCKING earth!!!! Yet we have survived somehow
whatever you said makes no sense
and also, nobody cares…….
It’s always interesting to see how many trolls post rubbish on these pages. Plastic bags must be outlawed, trees planted, the oceans cleaned. Everyone needs to do their bit to reduce the waste of plastic and use of plastic bags.
Devin, who has never had a woman he hasn’t hired, and Bill, who is the epitome of a self-centered ingnoramus, should be composted by someone who cares for the Earth. Asap.