Thursday, January 28, 2010

This plastic pollution in the ocean is no simple matter.

It’s easy to blame a certain industry or group for these problems but if we were honest with ourselves, we’d recognize that many more groups than we might like to acknowledge contribute. And one contributing party might be looking us in the mirror each morning.

I saw two things this week that reinforced the idea that marine debris is caused by more sources than we’d like to imagine. There are also easy solutions, though we have to start with acknowledging the problem.

Surfrider Foundation sends out a weekly newsletter and their last one said that 7 whales have washed up on the coast of Italy recently, and they died because they ingested plastic bags, among other things.

I picked up 3 bags on the two block journey from my house to the bus stop. Do you know how big whales are? They’re BIG. Like the size of a school bus big. I bring my own grocery bags regularly but I still use garbage bags for the non-recyclable or non-compostable items I have, and I had 2 large clear plastic bags that held recyclables from a recent work-related event to dispose of. Plastic bags and plastic film of all varieties are everywhere. The more we can reduce our use of them, the less chance there is that our plastic bags will end up killing a whale. A 13 ton whale. Talk about ego to use something so briefly that can kill such a large and magnificent creature.

The second thing is a forwarded blog entry from my girl Danielle. I’ve noticed that participants during local and televised international cycling events, marathons, half-marathons, etc., take cups of water, energy drinks, or now these funky energy gels from volunteers. What happens to these items? They get tossed on the side of the road. In my dreams, the race committee has a clean up crew to pick up this waste. The link below is a blog entry that shows that this stuff doesn’t magically disappear.

The lesson here is to use less stuff, pick up after yourself, and for pete’s sake, if you see a piece of litter, pick it up.

Jennifer O'Keefe


  1. yes plastic is creating nuisance everywhere.The earth is clogged due to this and the water bodies are contaminated.Therefore we must start using bio degradable bags and not use poly bags at all.
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  2. Each person should be forbidden and punished for causing damage to nature. Nowadays people are about anything, and they think that paying for taxes is enough help. Nobody moves finger to change what has been done against the planet. I read an article, it was from the newspaper. The first page showed a picture of Generic Viagra