The Current Problem with Plastic
The detrimental effects of the waste and pollution caused by our convenience at all costs habits are wide-ranging and growing at an alarming rate. In fact, we have already harmed the earth and its life forms to a staggering degree. Just one example is the vast amount of plastic waste in our oceans. This waste ranges from large to microscopic-sized pieces of plastic that congregate where ocean currents form gyres (a rotating ringlike system of ocean currents).

These areas are huge in size, estimated to be as large as Mexico, Texas, etc. See the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. (As of March 23, 2018, CNN estimates the Pacific Garbage to be 3 times the size of France). Within the gyres, marine animals can mistake larger pieces of plastic for food. Sea birds, such as the albatross, feed pieces of plastic to their young who die of starvation as a result. Other sea creatures get entangled in plastic waste and die horrific deaths. Fish and other animals taken from the sea for human consumption ingest microplastics which eventually end up on the human dinner table

.Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Watch a video on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Why is recycling not enough?

Sad to say, as important as recycling is, whatever is created, whether reconfigured and reused or not, ultimately needs to be disposed of. The same toxic substances end up polluting the environment in the long run.

Resources to better understand the problem with plastic:

The Plastic Pollution Coalition is a growing global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses, and policymakers working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals, waterways and oceans, and the environment.

A good overall article from the Huffington Post: The Oceans are Drowning in Plastic and No One's Paying Attention

A sobering new study shows that reefs in four countries, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar are heavily contaminated with plastic that is killng them. Plastic Pollution Is Killing Coral Reefs, 4-Year Study Finds

How plastic got started: A brief history of plastic

Some great videos that illustrate how plastic is destroying the environment:
The Life Cycle of a Plastic Bottle, TED talk (4 mins)
A heartwrenching (and at times disturbing) video from the United Nations on The Plastic Ocean (7 mins)
A PBS video on How Much Plastic is in the Ocean? (5 mins)
A CBC documentary on the Battle of the Bag (45 min)
From The Story of Stuff Project, The Story of Bottled Water (8 mins)
A Special Edition series for GSU TV, The Plastic Gyre (27 mins)

Learn about the current problem, what you can do about it, and then take the Plastic Challenge

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Takeout creates a lot of trash, but it doesn't have to...


The Current Problem

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