“Today we are redefining the geography of community and accepting shared accountability for common human values. We have the chance to extend the notion that all men are created equal to every human being on the planet. This will require global structures and products we are only beginning to imagine.... Each of us in his or her own way can contribute something by thinking -- and acting -- like a true global citizen. We have only one world for all of us on earth, and the future really is ours to create, in a world we dare to imagine together.”
“Over 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently litter the ocean” (The Ocean Cleanup). This is a significant problem. Can you comprehend this? Because I can’t. The amount is so large that it blows over my head. Like many global issues in the world, it is easy to hear about a problem on a missive scale, then subconsciously concede that someone else will do something about it. No! This is the responsibility of our generation. We need doers, or else our world that has provided so much will plummet.
All of the plastic garbage in the ocean is concentrated naturally in five gyres. But the pollution spreads across millions of kilometers of area. Solutions such as vessels and nets would take too long and cost too much to take care of this. One non-profit has developed technology to begin a resolution. The Ocean Cleanup has a drifting system that flows with the oceans currents. This organization predicts that they will clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the largest accumulation of trash in the ocean) in five years.
What a brilliant economic solution this company has established, right? But what the hell happens to all this trash once it is compiled? Just one of these patches of plastic is estimated to weigh 80,000 tonnes. Many critics state disposal of this collected trash is the biggest problem. What do you do when the trash is just sitting there? In these amounts, the impacts on the environment of actually getting the plastic to shore to dispose it are massive.
I envision an ocean that is so clean that it can inhabit and not hinder marine life and its’ ecosystem. In Bali, the people have a cultural ritual of disposing trash into the ocean. People don’t know the vast effects. Plastic kills more than 100,000 sea turtles and birds every year. Chemicals from plastic are released into the water and the atmosphere. And fish are being contaminated from the chemicals. Over 100 million marine animals are killed every year. Another figure that is just too vast to comprehend. It makes me think about what I’m doing just sitting here.
We must utilize organizations like The Ocean Cleanup. And then take it one further to not just collect it, but dispose of it and recycle it. And at the source. Compile it. Recycle it. Get rid of it. Reuse it. And keep it out of our ocean.