PLASTICS - What are they doing to us?

(Courtesy of bagitmovie.wordpress.com)

I caught a bit of TV over the weekend, and saw that one of the current affairs shows was doing a piece on the state of Plastic pollution in our Oceans. It spurred me into action to get around to writing this post that I have been putting on hold for so long. This has been something that I have been very passionate about for a long time. Want to know more about this developing global problem which affects us, READ ON...

A while back I watched a disturbing piece in an ocean documentary, which showed the devastating effects of this pollution on our environment especially oceans. The images of the aquatic and bird life, were upsetting, especially the nests which had carcasses with plastic pieces in the birds stomach. I think it's quite disturbing and ordinarily I wouldn't show it, but this cause is dear to my heart and feel like I need to show these horrible effects. So if you have a weak constitution, scroll down passed this image...
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(Here it is...)
 
(Courtesy of mindfully.org)
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Pretty hectic image. The animals of the ocean do not understand what these plastics are when they are looking for food and scoop them up. Not good. I also saw a video from Laird and Gabby Hamilton about this issue, and they directed me to the Plastic Pollution Coalition an organisation working towards prevention and treatment of the problem as well as creating awareness.

I've spent a large part of my life living in and around the coastline and I have seen these effects first hand. I have quite a gallery on my hard drive of the rubbish collections I've done after cleaning up post floods-big seas. Scary stuff.

Probably the worst experience I've had with this pollution problem, was regrettably, on a secluded tropical island while I was on a Surf Trip. I went to a remote island in Papua New Guinea, I was so captivated, so at peace with the world. On the boat ride to my dream of surfing a secluded reef in a different country surrounded by Coconut Palms, white sandy beaches and sunshine, we passed a huge pile of cans and bottles wrapped in weed. My heart sank, I always envisioned these places as perfect, away from the Western influence or touch. But alas it wasn't to be. But I am not going to hold it against them, no-no-no, I'm going to do something about it.

(Courtesy of swellvoyage.com)


So lets look at the facts about Plastic via the Save My Oceans website, and yes I am aware of the American Stats but lets look at it as a representative of the global communities:
  • The average American will throw away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.
  • 8% of the world’s oil is used for plastic production.
  • 267 species around the world are harmed by plastic. 44% of seabird, 43% of ocean mammals, and 86% of sea turtles ingest or become tangled in plastic.
  • Biodegradable bags prevent the deleterious effects of plastic on ocean environments. They break down naturally, and don’t leave harmful chemicals behind.
  • Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one litre bottle could end up on every mile of beach throughout the world.
  • Nurdles are small plastic pellets that are the base of plastic production and manufacturing. They are found in sandy beaches worldwide and threaten countless marine life that accidentally eat them.
  • Approx. 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States every year. That’s more than 1,200 bags per US resident, per year. 

More facts via the Plastic Pollution Coalition:
  • Plastic creates toxic pollution at every stage of its existence: manufacture, use, and disposal.
  • Plastic is a material that the earth cannot digest.
  • In the environment, plastic breaks down into smaller particles that attract toxic chemicals. These particles are ingested by wildlife on land and in the ocean, contaminating the food chain.
  • Harmful chemicals leached by plastics are present in the bloodstream and tissues of almost every one of us, including newborns.
  • Consumption of disposable plastics - bags, bottles, straws, and so forth - has spiraled out of control. These items are used for seconds, hours, or days, but their remains last forever.
(Courtesy of londinoupolis.blogspot.com)

No matter how many times I read these stats, I still get a cold shiver down my spine. But shivering, pining and crying about it, won't solve anything. We need ACTION! What can we do to be proactive about this Global problem? More than you know! Try these on for size to start with:

  •   Just a few of the bags we like:
  1. Bring a stainless steel water bottle rather than drinking water out of disposable plastic bottles. Just make sure it is not aluminum.
  2. Don’t have your stainless steel bottle with you? Buy a glass-bottled drink.  When you finish that beverage, reuse the bottle.
  3. Always bring your own bags whenever you shop, not just for the supermarket. By bringing your own bag, you alone can save between 400 and 600 plastic bags per year. There are lots of cool tote bag companies out there.
  4. Consider some easy alternatives to the ubiquitous plastic straws. No straw. Do you really need one?
  5. Bring your own ceramic or stainless steel mug. Carry one in your car.  Some coffee shops will even reward your thoughtfulness with a small discount on coffee or tea.
  6. Whether you prepare school lunch, order takeout or go out to eat, take along your own reusable containers.
  7. Bring along your own utensil set, add a straw and you are all set!
  8. Rather than buy plastic disposable lighters, consider investing in a refillable multi-use lighters. The oceans of the world and the albatross chicks who are fed these from out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean will thank you.
  9. Buy your milk or juice in a glass returnable, reusable bottle… old fashioned, but tastes great and it’s better for you. Yes, it is a bit of a challenge, but well worth it.
  10. Wax paper is an excellent substitute to the ubiquitous stretch plastic we have been told is essential for cooking and preserving foods. Choose wax paper to wrap sandwiches, place on top of foods warmed up in the microwave, or when storing food in the fridge. Yes, it does not stick to foods like plastic – that’s exactly what’s good about it!

    Need more info??? Check these videos out...
Video #1


Video #2




Reduce-Reuse-Recycle-REFUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://philkellytraining.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/plastics-what-are-they-doing-to-us.html

Best,
PK
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