Trash on trash on trash

The Issue

The world is turning into a giant garbage can, no doubt, and it’s getting worse. Scientists surveyed the islands of Cocos (in the Australian territory) and estimated there’s about 414 million pieces of plastic which could weigh up to 262 tons. Among the garbage was almost one million shoes and hundreds of thousands of toothbrushes. Straws and plastic bags made up a quarter of the total. Another study noted that there were more pieces of plastic in the ocean than stars in the Milky Way.

The scale of the problem is getting so bad that it seems almost impossible to clean up the beaches. It’s time consuming, costly, and thousands of new pieces of plastic wash up even after you’ve just cleaned it. The solution now is to reduce the distribution and consumption of plastic so that it doesn’t enter our oceans in the first place. I applaud the cities in Minnesota that are banning Styrofoam containers and eliminating plastic straws. We need people to be aware that we can’t stop pollution from happening, but we can certainly slow it down.

In the lower left quadrant of the photo, you can see a piece of trash on the edge of the water
Just like you wouldn’t litter in a place like Rocky Mountain National Park, let’s have that same mentality closer to home

https://www.newsweek.com/remote-barely-inhabited-islands-are-drowning-millions-pieces-plastic-trash-1427325

Effects on animals

Another issue in itself is how all this garbage affects wildlife. A pregnant sperm whale washed up, dead, on an Italian beach. When scientists and veterinarians cut her open, they found a dead baby whale along with 50 pounds of plastic in her stomach. The plastic filled up more than two thirds of her stomach and potentially died because the nutrients from the food never made it past the blocked intestines.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/dead-pregnant-whale-plastic-italy/

Deepest point of the ocean

If for some reason that information didn’t spark something inside you, take this in. Victor Vescovo set a record on becoming the first American to descend deeper into the ocean than any person before him. He and his dive team were more than 35,850 feet below the surface of the Mariana Trench—the deepest point in the Earth’s oceans. That’s nearly 7 miles! That’s a similar distance between Metro State and Hidden Falls Regional Park “as the crow flies” (straight shot, not based on driving directions). Vescovo spent four hours at the bottom mapping new routes for future researchers and among the bottom? Trash. While a single piece of plastic isn’t going to single-handedly kill the ocean species, it’s a reminder on the impact human’s have and how far it reaches.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2019/05/15/he-went-where-no-human-had-gone-before-our-trash-had-already-beat-him-there/?utm_term=.c6ffa8a61aa8

2 thoughts on “Trash on trash on trash

  1. When I started reading your post I screamed “Plastic in the Mariana Trench” outloud – before I got to that part of your post. I had seen that info before and it really is disgusting! And plastics don’t just pollute when we throw them away – they are created primarily from petroleum and natural gas; both greenhouse gas producing fossil fuels that create even more GHGs in their processing. It really is a lose/lose situation. Single use items like these all need to stop being used (there are other viable options available)!!

    1. I think this is a big problem too. My girlfriend, and I to a lesser extent, are trying to cut down on our plastic use. One interest fact I found was that they discovered plastic eating microbes. They don’t exist in the scale we need to get rid of all the plastic, but it’s an interesting discovery that maybe we can work with somehow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.