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10 Million Tons Floating: Our Plastic Oceans

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If you should see this amazing floating pile of plastic in the Pacific Ocean, it’s called “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”  It features three million tons of plastic debris floating in an area larger than Texas.  An eye-popping 46,000 pieces of plastic float on every square mile of ocean!  Humans toss another 2.5 million pieces into our oceans hourly.

 

Captain Paul Watson, www.seasheperd.org, composed an essay, “The Plastic Sea.”  He wrote a penetrating piece on humanity’s desecration of our oceans.  If you ever see this plastic ‘monster’ as I have, it will sicken you to the core of your soul.  But the terror it manifests sickens you further!

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On the beach on San Juan Island, Washington, Allison Lance walks her dogs every morning,” Watson said. “She carries a plastic bag in her hand to carry the bits and pieces of plastic debris she picks up. Each morning she fills the bag, but by the next morning there is always another bag to be filled. Joey Racano does the same in Huntington Beach further south in California. The harvest of plastic waste is never-ending. Allison's and Joey's beaches, and practically every beach around the world is similarly cursed.

 

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“Recently in the Galapagos I retrieved plastic motor oil bottles and garbage bags from a remote beach on Santa Cruz island. Every year during crossings of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, spotting plastic is a daily and regular occurrence.” 

 

Let me repeat this: the United Nations Environmental Program report estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic debris floats on or near the surface of every square mile of ocean.

 

“We live in a plastic convenience culture; every human being on this planet uses plastic materials directly and indirectly every single day,” Watson said. “Our babies begin life on Earth by using some 210 million pounds of plastic diaper liners each year; we give them plastic milk bottles, plastic toys, and buy their food in plastic jars.

 

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“Every year we eat and drink from some thirty-four billion newly manufactured bottles and containers. We patronize fast food restaurants and buy products that consume another fourteen billion pounds of plastic. In total, our societies produce an estimated sixty billion tons of plastic material every year.

 

“Each of us on average uses 190 pounds of plastic annually: bottled water, fast food packaging, furniture, syringes, computers and computer diskettes, packing materials, garbage bags and so much more. When you consider that this plastic does not biodegrade and remains in our ecosystems permanently, we are looking at an incredibly high volume of accumulated plastic trash that has been built up since the mid-twentieth century.”

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Frosty Wooldridge Bio: Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents and six times across the United States in the past 30 years. His books (more...)
 
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