I was reading my local newspaper today when I ran across an article about the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a patch of ocean approximately twice the size of Texas filled with trash. Granted most of the trash is little bitty pieces of plastic – so small that it is hard to locate the “Garbage Patch” from the air or to determine its boundaries.
The article I read today was all about these little pieces of plastic. Apparently, some scientists “took hundreds of water samples between the Farallon Islands near San Francisco and the notorious garbage patch 1,000 miles west of California, and every one had tiny bits of plastic floating in it.”[@more@]
This is a problem because tiny jellyfish are eating the “tiny, confettilike pieces of broken plastic.” While this doesn’t sound like a problem, it becomes one when you realize that the jellyfish are eaten by salmon or tune, which in turn are eaten by humans.
It is crazy how much plastic is produced globally…granted, some plastic products have a long life cycle (like picnic tables or computer monitors).
Unfortunately, most of the plastic products we use are designed for one-time use (water bottles, food packaging, etc), and whilst they can be disposed of properly thanks to roll-off dumpster Software and other waste management systems, sometimes this just doesn’t happen.
I don’t know….I don’t have any answers…. I just know that it hurts to see our oceans covered in tiny pieces of plastic just because of convenience. If more businesses were to use eco-friendly packaging such as if food stalls and restaurants were to buy paper bags online or other personalized packaging, or if people were to recycle their trash properly, then we could all be making a significant effort to improve our planet.