“The Throwaway Society Cannot Be Contained – It Has Gone Global”
By The Editors
The title of this post says it all, and it says it all through the words of Charles J. Moore, the oceanographer and racing boat captain that first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
In the video below, a 2009 TED TALK, Captain Moore focuses on the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas. You can visually see the harm caused to different life forms.
The extent of this problem is enormous, and we’ll be talking more about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in posts soon to come.
In the mean time, please watch this.
While I completely agree that the ocean is the victim and we are doing this to nature and ultimately to ourselves, what are the alternatives? Recycling is effective, but to what extent? Plastic, which is not biodegradable, ends up in our oceans, but if not there, then buried in landfills, but if not there… Where? Unfortunately, the entire problem starts at the source, where recycling is not in mind when designing and manufacturing these products. At the current state of our environment, I believe reducing and reusing are far more effective, but a completely new approach to industrial plans and processes is required in order to sustain lasting effects.
Almost three million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year worldwide and eighty percent of plastic water bottles are not recycled and end up in landfills. We are drowning in plastic! Instead of recycling, our main goal should be reducing the amount of plastic we use.
Shocking is the word to describe the amount of trash continuously accumulating in our oceans. As the Great Garbage Patch is described, it would seem people are transferring trash to this obscure location and dumping it, but the fact that Earth’s currents create this all on their own is amazing… Amazingly awful, that is. It’s just one HUGE realization that changes need to be made. While reversing damages already done may be nearly impossible, awareness is the first step toward protecting OUR future.
I don’t believe these ocean currents are to be held responsible for creating what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, if anything I believe the ocean currents become the victims in this situation. If the plastic waste were properly disposed of instead of being thrown a stray into bodies of water that lead into the ocean or alongside the shore, then there wouldn’t be this enormous amount of waste. But the truth is that we as human beings bring this upon ourselves and are the ones to blame. If we used our resources in a more concise manner and actually recycled any plastic waste we could avoid adding even more plastic bottles/bags to this garbage patch in the Pacific.
It isn’t the Earth’s currents that are creating this big garbage patch, necessarily. Yes, the location of the patch is related to the currents from the ocean, but that’s not why the plastic is there to begin with. The problem can be rooted back to improper disposal of plastics and other forms of garbage. If it weren’t for us, the patch wouldn’t be there to begin with.
On a side note, I can’t believe we stumbled upon this on accident. I would have thought satellite images would have at least shown a glimpse of the patch. Amazing.
Those pictures with the children swimming in all of that plastic trash were unsettling. It’s bad enough people are lazy to use the recycle bins, now it seems as if it’s an effort to utilize a trash can.
laziness is not the problem – use (or not use) of trash cans is not the problem
the problem is way deeper
if we think the problem is laziness we’ll never solve the problem
We live in the garbology era. Recycling is not the answer. We need to limit our use of plastic and switch to biodegradable products.