Oceans are beyond suffering from plastics and pollutants

Recent, disconcerting studies on the state of ocean dystopia:

Plastics taken up in the food chain, and found in fish sold in the supermarket

-Baby fish have been found to prefer eating plastic in plastic laden water than their natural food source (like junk food for a teenager) 

-Radiation from Fukushima has made its way across the Pacific. There are no ‘safe’ zones

California enacted a statewide plastic bag ban during the last election, and the timing couldn’t be soon enough. We need transformative action on waste and plastics on multiple fronts in order to steward our greatly compromised oceans. Gyres of plastic have been found in all the 5 oceans, with flows of waste coming from all corners of the globe as western consumption styles and patterns increase. Single use plastics are not only killing the oceans, their effects are coming back to kill us.

Human convenience is no excuse for fundamentally sickening earth’s ecosystems.  We do not need plastic. We have lived without it quite well for most of humankind’s existence. It has just been in the past half century that we have found this incredibly useful material that we can make from the byproduct of the petroleum industry. For the oil companies, it is a win-win. But for nature these consumption patterns are a lose-lose.

People will not make lazy decisions if the options are not there for them to begin with. Plastic bottle bans; partnerships with schools giving kids reusable non-plastic bottles; partnerships with businesses and government offices doing the same; restrictions on take-out containers; strict codes for packaging for foods and closed loop material returns & repurposing; etc. It is time to start envisioning a ZeroWaste and regenerative circular economy. There is no excuse for ‘waste.’ The word waste is itself a ‘convenience,’ when people are too lazy to use their creativity and ingenuity and not closing the systems loop. As the most evolved species on the planet, we can do better.

 

 

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