March 31, 2012

So What's the Big Deal?

Okay, here's the big deal and 4 points to focus on:

1.  Plastics can leach toxic chemicals that were added to it during its formulation.  Scientists around the world are studying the effects of these chemicals in our bodies.   Plastics can leach chemicals when it's scratched (like from cleaning the plastic), when it's stressed like during freezing and defrosting, when it has had contact with certain detergents, when it's been in contact with  with fats or acids in canned foods, when it's touched (does it have that plastic "smell?") and especially when it's been heated.  Think your water bottle has never been hot?  Consider the internal temperature of the ships and trucks it was inside of before it reached your refrigerator!  We encourage you to read more about this.  Look on the tabs above for links to quality articles.

2.  Plastic never goes away, it simply breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces (scientists call these minuscule bits "microdebris") which the little fish eat instead of zooplankton; indeed, plastic microdebris has been found even inside zooplankton itself, and recent surveys show in many places that the microplastic debris actually outnumbers the plankton! To make matters worse, these tiny plastic bits that are already full of chemicals, act like mini-sponges soaking up even more chemicals (polycholorinated phenol's "PCBs", polyaromatic hydrocarbons "PAHs" hexacholorocyclohexane "HCH" and the insecticide DDT) from the ocean water and sediments (think about how your plastic bowls get "stained" by red sauce...that's because plastic is absorbent). The big fish eat these plastic-filled little fish, and then humans eat the big fish.  Plastic is getting into OUR FOOD CHAIN.  No, not getting in, is already in it.  The ocean is now a soup full of this plastic "confetti."  A very informative, unbiased article to begin your research with is called "Plastic Debris in the Ocean."

3.  Plastic debris kills marine animals by the millions who mistake it for food or get tangled in it.  This plastic trash makes it way to the ocean from inland places via rivers, vessels at sea, and littering on beaches.  Google plastic ocean debris or marine animals and plastics to learn more.   We can never clean up what's already in our ocean (because the task is too large), but we can help reverse the trend one person at a time by refusing single use plastics and by recycling.  If you only watch one video, watch this 3-minute one filmed on Midway Island.  

4.  Plastic single-use bags (and water bottles, bottle caps, straws, etc) are polluting the oceans world-wide, and they are UNNECESSARY.  We are killing our oceans with these disposal single-use items for no good reason other than convenience.

No comments:

Post a Comment