Do you enjoy seafood? Bad news… chances are good that there are tiny pieces of plastic in that salmon, lobster, or tuna you’re eating. Plastic is wildly non-biodegradable, and the vast majority of it ends up as waste being dumped directly into our oceans. You may be familiar with the masses of garbage and plastic currently floating about the sea, reported to be larger than the size of most American states!
When anything gets dumped into the ocean, fish will eat it - including plastic. If they are caught and killed for human consumption (before the plastic kills them), then we are essentially feeding on plastic waste ourselves. Not so delectable now.
Unfortunately, we only seem to be amplifying this major problem at a disturbing rate. By 2050, scientists predict that the ocean will have more plastic than fish. And you’d better believe it’s a global issue that affects us all. The world’s oceans cover more than 70% of the planet, containing the vast majority of the water on earth (fresh or salt). And yet, soon there may be no place left untouched by plastic waste. In 2017, one of the most remote islands in the world, Henderson Island, in the South Pacific, was found to have over 18 tons of plastic littering its shores.
In 2006, 300 billion water bottles were produced; in 2017, nearly 480 million were produced. The frustrating thing is that we can all do something to stop this, despite the overwhelming scale of the pickle we have found ourselves in. Changes can be made, big and small, individually and globally. Reusable water bottles are available in stores, home filtering systems can be purchased and installed, and what’s more… often times that “spring water” you’re buying is just perfectly fine tap water in disguise.
If you choose to use plastic, try your best to ensure that it is reusable, recyclable, or both (and don’t forget to actually recycle it!). You can also support local initiatives to combat plastic waste by voting for politicians who recognize and fight for the no-plastic movement.
Author: Taylor Nason