oceans · Plastic_pollution

Plastic pollution: Not the Pepsi generation we imagined

A couple of stories caught my eye about the tsunami of #plastic_pollution that’s accumulated in the world’s oceans and poses a serious threat to aquatic life.

A lobster became an unplanned member of the #PepsiGeneration after it was caught off New Brunswick and Karissa Lindstrand, in charge of banding the claws, noticed an unusual tat on one of the pinchers — part of a #Pepsi_logo.

The logo looked seemed to be part of a printed picture, but couldn’t have been on paper, which would have disintegrated in the ocean, Lindstrand said. “I’m still trying to wrap my brain around what exactly it was.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/29/lobster-pepsi-logo-ocean-new-brunswick-canada

A freaky thing for sure but a reminder of a much bigger issue. Five to 13 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into the world’s oceans each year and much of it ends up inside of seabirds, fish and other organisms. Unlike natural occurring products, plastic does not decompose.

We need a direct attack on the “islands” of plastic bags and bottles seen in photos but the worst of it is #plastic_glitter. Those confetti-like bits of Mylar are called #microplastics and average about a millimetre in diameter.

They may be of the festive variety or bits sliced from bigger chunks of plastic that are easily swept into sewer systems and flushed down rivers and lakes until they reach the ocean. Together, they make up a major proportion of ocean pollution and because of their bite-size dimensions pose the greatest hazard to marine life. The problem is so acute that a number of scientists want a ban on glitter.

https://www.livescience.com/61060-global-glitter-ban.html?utm_source=ls-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20171130-ls

We’re disgusted by the images but what are we prepared to do about it? After all, we are the problem.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) suggests the following 10 measures all of us can take to reduce plastic pollution. https://www.nrdc.org/stories/10-ways-reduce-plastic-pollution

1. Wean yourself off disposable plastics.

2. Stop buying water.

3. Boycott microbeads (glitter).

4. Cook more.

5. Buy secondhand items.

6. Recycle (duh).

7. Support a bag tax or ban.

8. Buy in bulk.

9. Bring your own garment bag to the dry cleaner.

10. Put pressure on manufacturers.

 

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