Plastic Ocean

Plastic Ocean? Not on our watch!

Mark Fraser is the host and executive producer of "Nature Walks with Mark Fraser"

Atlantic Garbage Patch! The Pacific Garbage Patch! Let’s face it – we have a very serious world wide problem and its time we did something about it! The bottom line is we have a huge appetite for quick fix throw away plastic products. We call and order food for example, it comes in multiple single –use products from the plastic forks and knives to the packaging itself. Sure you could wash and re-use your plastic utensils and fast food cups and straws, do you? We really could just “stop” using them.

Our daily habits from each of our own households combine, and become the collective cause of what “we” are all inadvertently doing to the entire Ocean. I know we are not throwing things into the Ocean, at least we don’t think that we are.

Where exactly does that plastic shopping bag end up or that plastic spoon or plastic straw…. Well, sadly many products even when placed in a recycle bin still actually end up in land fills, or in the sea. Our recycling in the United States is so lacking that it’s actually less then 5%! In fact when you throw a plastic soda bottle into a bin to be recycled, the cap is removed and thrown away! How many soda bottle caps each day are used in the United States alone? Now imagine a year, now imagine where they end up…  Scary isn’t it, well in this case we “should” be concerned. Look at plastic bags, estimates above 300 billion shopping bags a year in the US alone bring the harsh reality close at hand. So the overwhelming majority, never get recycled. It becomes easy to see why we have a serious world wide problem when you think about the big picture. These plastics breakdown, from sun, and salt into tiny particles floating in the sea flowing with the current and inevitably coalescing in massive areas that are thousands of square miles in size that we call a “Garbage Patch”. It’s actually, far worse then a simple “patch” of plastic; it’s a deep field in some areas as much as 300ft and having the consistency of minestrone soup with tiny particles as small as plankton. More and more news reports are coming in about species of whales dying with bellies full of plastic. There are estimates in the hundreds of thousands of marine species that are dying from this plastic particle soup we created.

When we talk about stainless steel mugs, canvas bags, eating locally grown food please understand it’s not about a green fad, a cute trend to be a part of. It’s about something of global importance and “you” can help. If each house hold does their own part, then at least we can seriously slow down this epic problem. Life is about choices, and this is a choice that you must make. Please choose well.

Thanks for listening and we’ll talk again soon,

Mark Fraser

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Pacific and Atlantic Garbage patch website!

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