Plastics make a lot of things possible, and thanks to a newly discovered microbe in the far east, more of it will be fodder for bugs in the future, but for now, plastic is building up in the world’s oceans, and, well, it’s making a mess. Marine life cannot deal well with plastic, and it is not degrading all that quickly.
A “floating” island of trash dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) now stretches 600,000 square miles, according to a study published last Thursday in Scientific Reports.
It’s more than twice the size of Texas (three times the size of France), and it’s growing every day.
Environmentalists expressed concern in October 2016, after a team of researchers from The Ocean Cleanup Foundation surveyed the vortex of trash piling up between California and Hawaii.
They spotted chunks of plastic glued together measuring more than a yard.
All the way around, that simply cannot be good. It might well be the time that the humans who have been entrusted with this earth quit making a trash pit out of it, and that includes using less plastic.
There are times when finding an alternative to plastic just isn’t possible, but more and more, there are options available if one makes the effort to find them.
PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES
It’s always nice and convenient to just grab a fresh bottle of water especially when on vacation, but for those who frequently have to do this, a refillable water bottle is most convenient. They are available in a variety of materials and sizes.
Who doesn’t have half a cabinet stuffed with leftover containers? This house does, of course, and when leftovers that time forgot come out of the refrigerator in one of them, naturally, the whole container goes in the trash. However, several brands have single serving sized dishes with lids that are an option. And to keep styrofoam to a minimum try stopping by the butcher counter instead of picking up pre-packaged items. You can still pick the meat you want, but it comes in butcher paper which degrades much more quickly than plastic.
Paper bags are still available all over the country in addition to reusable bags and sacks. Most grocery chains are delighted to see customers bringing their own. It means that this expense is not as large for them.
It came as quite a shock to the members of this writer’s clan that not everyone recycles. The hometown makes it easy with the curbside pickup in a container separate from actual trash. Granted, this is not available everywhere, but recycling plastics with the numbers 1,2,3,4,5 and 7 on the bottom will make a difference.