Reading other blogs and articles brought my attention to this really interesting idea that a 19 year old developed to clean up the oceans of plastic. I think the TreeHugger article was awesome so here it is, but to give you an overview; there are giant gyres of plastic in the ocean (giant plastic hubs which some people actually go to visit as a tourist attraction). What does giant mean? Well the North Pacific Gyre is actually twice the size of the United States. I am going to assume that you can think of a number of reasons why this is bad, but just to give a few examples include marine life eating the plastic and it poisoning them but it doesn’t stop there, the plastic can go through the food chain and end up in the seafood you consume and along the way it can release various chemicals into the ocean. The long term ramifications for the ocean habitat is completely unknown.
However a young student, Boyan Slat has come up with a potential plan for cleaning up this plastic. You can hear about his idea in his TedTalk found here:
While this is a great idea to clean up the oceans I am sure that we can do better by preventing its destruction in the first place. This is definitely something you can do, chose not to use plastic bags, chose not to use plastic bottles, recycle any plastic you do use. There has been an increased awareness and people have been using less plastic bags since most major grocery stores now charge for them but try to eliminate as much plastic as you can from all your purchasing decisions. This includes small plastic bags, plastic wrap, etc. chose to transport your lunch in reusable containers, chose glass bottles when buying items at the store, just a few small changes can significantly reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean.