29 September 2013

Duck, Duck, Plastic

The writers of all those messages in bottles were on to something: If you want to find connections, the ocean is the place.

However,  today's connections are being established through plastics, not bottle messages, and it's not a love story in the making. The following video helps explain how plastics accumulate in the ocean and what some of the consequences of this might be:

Although the video makes some great points, especially those concerning how our actions are interrelated, I disagree with one point: the idea that the only option for dealing with this problem is to make plastics that break down. This may be a good option, but it isn't the only option. A stronger solution would be to cut back on our consumption, decreasing the need for plastics.

I think understanding how we are connected to the plastic problem is a step in the right direction. The video helps with that. Another tool is offered by Adrift.org, which uses a virtual rubber ducky to give people a sense of how their plastics can spread in the ocean. Simply place the duck in an ocean somewhere and watch as the plastic it represents spreads. Click here to check it out.

The masses of plastics floating in our oceans are sending us a message: The accumulations start with a single purchase. It's time we get that message.

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