You know I don’t like to get up on my high horse. Much. But I am troubled by something so vast, the problem is not likely to go away in our lifetime, or for that matter, during our great-great-great-great grandchildren’s lifetime.
Stealing a couple of lines from The Graduate, “I just have one word for you. Are you listening? One word. Plastics.”
Have you heard about this?
There is a floating mass of plastic in the Pacific Ocean that is roughly the twice the size of Texas. TEXAS!
For that matter, there are boatloads (no pun intended) of plastic bags, bottle, spoons and whatnots in all of our oceans. And the junk ain’t going anywhere, anytime soon. The plastic just keeps breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces until it is microscopic plastic dust. Marine life unwittingly ingest the stuff.
When we were in Belize in March, we witnessed the problem firsthand. Every day at dawn, the resort had a crew of Belizeans rake up the truckload of plastic that had washed up on shore overnight. Talk about job security for those guys.
We snorkeled every day in pristine waters. No plastic trash to be seen. However, on one of our trips, something was up with the tide or the vortex of waters and we were right in the thick of swimming through plastic city. It was disconcerting to see a CVS bag float by. Sickening is a better word.
What a waste.
According to renowned marine biologist and my new hero, Dr. Sylvia Earle, a whale washed ashore the California coast and the poor guy had 400 pounds of plastic in its stomach. No one wondered why it died.
I’m not saying plastic is a bad thing. What we are doing with it is a bad thing. Man is not the only culprit. Mother Nature plays a part when she unleashes tsunamis what sweep tons of debris, including plastic, into the ocean.
Those clever scientists who worked tirelessly on the development of the seedless watermelon ought to now focus their energies on how we are going to fix the problem of plastic in the ocean.
I won’t load you up with statistics and sad facts here. All you need to do it consult Mr. Google and search for “plastic in the ocean.” Reading up on the issue will keep you busy and off the streets for days. I do, however, urge you to watch this brief video on Plastic Ocean’s website.
I hope our next generation of children will not understand the question, “Paper or plastic?”
Okay. I’m off my soapbox.