Our oceans are turning into plastic, killing millions of birds, turtles, sharks, dolphins, whales and leaching dangerous poisonous chemicals. You probably have heard about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the North Pacific with 250 million tons of garbage floating on the surface of the ocean. It’s larger than Texas ! That’s the biggest one, but there are 4 other world oceans with huge islands of floating plastic growing bigger every year including one in the Atlantic,
David Pogue of The New York Times had this excellent segment on CBS Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago all about this “soup” of floating garbage that is filling our oceans. The video says more than I ever could ! Capt. Moore in the video also has an new book called Plastic Ocean and an informative web site about the issues.
For more information on marine debris, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris program has an excellent web site with lots of information, videos, and projects.
Plastic bags make up part of this ocean trash. For some reason, big time actors are now obsessed with narrating “mockumentaries” about the plastic bag. The best is with Werner Herzog as the misunderstood bag. And there is another with Jeremy Irons as the sad sack. They are clever and fun, but really do make you think about the lowly little plastic shopping bag in a whole different way.
But in all seriousness, what can you do to locally help solve the problem of plastics ? Obviously recycle with a vengeance, bottles of all types, jugs, bags, baggies. Check with your town about which types of plastic they recycle. Here is some good info from the CT DEEP and from the CT Recycling Guide
Cut down on your plastic usage. Don’t buy lots of small water bottles, buy one reusable bottle and fill it up from a large water jug. Don’t use little baggies for lunch, but a reusable container. Use cloth shopping bags.
You can also help by participating in a spring clean-up along the shores of Connecticut’s beaches whether rivers, lakes or Long Island Sound. Spring is the best time for this since the vegetation does not hide the debris accumulated over the summer, fall and winter.
Here is a good list of some of the Save the Sound Coastal Cleanups coming soon this spring to a Connecticut location near you. Connecticut Community Boating also sponsors Beach cleanups in March and April along Connecticut’s shorelines. Here is there Beach cleanup promo and details about the upcoming trash days.
Let’s do all we can as individuals to not add more to this mess. Recycle, pick up your trash, go on clean-ups, and get informed and spread the word about this destructive issue whenever, wherever you can.
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