Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ouch

Tim and I read a lot of science fiction so it wasn't any surprise this afternoon while we were walking on the beach that he said, "If some genuinely intelligent species makes it to Earth some day they're going to walk on this beach and say, 'What they hell did they do to this place?'" It was a bit depressing to see such an awesomely beautiful place so scarred with trash, mostly plastic. I'm the first to admit that plastic has made us safer and healthier people in some ways. Surely the people with prosthetics and replacement hips and even glasses are happily enjoying their quality of life improvement due to plastic, but the shear volume of the stuff discarded during our every day lives is astoundingly depressing.

I'm old enough to remember life without plastic. Yes, life is easier with it these days for sure and I swear by my collection of ziploc bags and sealtite boxes on the boat when it comes to protecting our supplies from mold, but the truth is that if it wasn't available anymore I would do just fine with alternatives like foil or waxed paper like we used to do when I was younger before plastic was introduced to mainstream consumerism. At the very least I would love to see the ubiquitous plastic shopping bags outlawed. 

So, in the interest of convincing you to take your reusable shopping bags to the store next trip, here is a small sample of some of the other things we saw at the beach today, and I could have taken hundreds more.






More reading resources:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/oceanography/great-pacific-garbage-patch.htm

http://www.plasticoceans.net/

http://www.ted.com/talks/capt_charles_moore_on_the_seas_of_plastic

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/oceans/pollution/trash-vortex/

http://www.psfk.com/2013/06/plastic-bottle-cloud-nyc-trash.html

http://www.boyanslat.com/plastic/






3 comments:

Rharriscpa said...

I have been amazed at the stuff you will find. When I was young it was nets lines and glass and wooden net buoys. I even found a mahogany turtle decoy in the 70's.. Today it's plastic and foam and more plastic. At least the ocean purges itself of this by washing it up on the beach. It's likes natures way of saying here this does not belong to the ocean. Take it back man.

Mike B. said...

It is kind of depressing, isn't it. I remember first seeing that sort of thing on Cayman Brac. Finding that resorts actually hired people to clean up the beaches daily so people wouldn't actually see what was happening.

Wonder if more people would reduce and recycle if they saw this sort of thing firsthand.

Deb said...

I wish I could believe that people could be changed by seeing this, but the fact is that it's a big world with a lot of people and each piece of lost plastic gets a "Oh well it's just one piece it won't make a difference" attitude. And I've even seen the brazen don't give a s*%!t attitude by folks pitching their McDonald's bags right out the window of their car so we've a long way to go. It's going to have to start at the legislation / manufacturing end. People won't throw it away if it's not available.