The growing Great Pacific Garbage Patch

I’m reading today an article in AFP about the latest measurements of the Pacific garbage patch between Hawaii and California https://www.afp.com/en/news/23/pacific-plastic-dump-far-larger-feared-study-doc-12z3po3

Let me think about where all this garbage is coming from… no big secret it’s from messy humans… probably some of it will still be remnants of the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.  I’m guessing some of it also gets thrown overboard – by accident or on purpose – from cruise ships, cargo ships, fishing boats, etc.  Some of it would be carried out to sea from beaches, resorts etc. – humans litter unfortunately.  Now, maybe the odd seagull picks up a piece out of a garbage can, flies away to a beach/rock, decides it’s not edible so leaves it (litters) and then that’s picked up the wind or current, adding eventually to the patch.

Anyway, I am happy to hear there is at least one organization arranging to help clean it up in a few years (hmmm… think this is a project that will need to be done at least every couple of years if we don’t smarten up).  What will they do with all this crap? They aren’t likely going to pick through and recycle…. so are they going to incinerate it?

As a conscious human that tries her utmost earnestly to compost and recycle the wrapping around my purchases (as well as items that have broken/stopped working), sometimes I get frustrated by the amount I can’t recycle. I’m slowly improving, looking at the packaging and choosing recycling packaging over throwaways.  But it’s also frustrating how many plastics don’t have a recycling logo on them – perhaps the public should push more to require producers to use (A) recyclable plastic with logos and/or (B) biodegradable plastics. This applies to the foam packing hidden inside the cardboard boxes.  At least if I end up with takeout in a foam container, I can usually recycle that.

And don’t get me started on the fast food joints that have the recycle bin for pop/water bottles & cans, maybe if you’re lucky a compost bin for food/napkins (thanks A & W, get with it McDonalds, Subway, Pita Pit…), but no recycling bin for plastic utensils/plastic coffee cup lids, etc.  Most of the time I tell my boyfriend to give me his finished cup and I’ll rinse it to put in my recycling pickup at home.

Maybe we need less ads/videos bashing politicians and more showing us how to take care of our planet. And change our production & consumerism – you want me to buy and support the economy? Sure! How about helping me protect the environment at the same time?  I don’t know what percentage of all this garbage is actually made from petrochemicals, but I’m all for reducing that and using more non-polluting biodegradable products. I was going to say water soluble packaging, but we have to be careful with that as well as biodegradable that it’s not another toxic chemical we’re adding to the earth/water cycle.

Hmmm… at least maybe it’s time for me to start sharing more of the permaculture videos I’ve been watching. Promote healing this earth one video at a time on all my social media accounts… how about one for every video I see about someone killed… ok – that’s maybe too much sharing, I’d never be able to keep up with those stats! Keep taking at least the tiny steps and maybe +90% my fellow humans will follow too??

Feels like such a pipe dream today…

 

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