Our Plastic Footprint 2

I have written about litter before, in particular plastic, here

Littering is not only about the unsightly mess that greets us whenever we go out and about even in the countryside such as you can see in the photos below. Indeed the most important issue concerning the blight of litter is the effect it has upon wildlife.

Watch the very moving and distressing video below of the consequences of our rubbish ending up in places where it should not be – thrown away or dumped anywhere and everywhere.

You Will Not Believe Your Eyes – Unbelievable Must Watch!

This heart touching video is about an island in the ocean at 2000 km from any other coastline And equally inspiring for both who are careful and careless about environment in any region and In any country all over the world. Nobody lives, only birds and yet, you will not believe what you will see here. Please don’t throw anything into the sea. Unbelievable, just look at the consequences.

One comment on the video asks:

This is truly amazing! I do have one question, could it be that the birds r traveling to different parts of the world, eating this waste, and then bringing it back? I mean, how could that stuff reach that far. Sad to c that this world is so lazy to recycle, and/or dispose of trash appropriately. 😦

The trash gets into our oceans in many different ways via rivers such as the river Swale in the Yorkshire Dales – look at the trash carelessly left by this river in a section of the river that runs through the town of Richmond.

river SwaleJPG

All of it gets washed out into the sea – think this is bad wait to you see further down the trash that is dumped in the Citarum river on the Indonesian island of Java. Trash also gets into our oceans from ships or off shore platforms. It is blown off the land into the sea and yes sadly it is dumped intentionally. Birds are not the only animals adversely affected by trash

In the sea, big pieces of plastic look like jellyfish or squid, while small pieces look like fish eggs, so marine creatures eat the plastic debris mistaking it for food. Marine trash, mainly plastic, is killing more than a million seabirds and 100,000 mammals and sea turtles each year by ingestion and entanglement.

Read More: http://www.projectgreenbag.com/how-does-plastic-get-into-the-ocean/

All along Alaska’s outer coast,

…there are shores strewn with marine debris, as man-made flotsam and jetsam is officially known. Most of that debris is plastic, and much of it crosses the Gulf of Alaska or even the Pacific Ocean to arrive there. The tide of plastic isn’t rising only on Alaskan shores. In 2004 two oceanographers from the British Antarctic Survey completed a study of plastic dispersal in the Atlantic that spanned both hemispheres. “Remote oceanic islands,” the study showed, “may have similar levels of debris to those adjacent to heavily industrialized coasts.” Even on the shores of Spitsbergen Island in the Arctic, the survey found on average a plastic item every five meters.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/magazine/22Plastics-t.html?_r=0

The sea is being turned into one big rubbish dump

There is a “plastic soup” of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean which is growing at an alarming rate and presently covers an area twice the size of the continental United States. The “trash vortex” of an estimated one million tons of trash stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the Californian coast, across the northern Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Japan. The vortex contains everything from footballs and kayaks to Lego blocks and carrier bags. Because plastic is not biodegradable items fifty years old have been found in this floating dump – 90 per cent of all rubbish floating in the oceans is plastic. The UN Environment Programme estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. Mr Moore, a former sailor, came across the sea of waste by chance in 1997, while taking a short cut home from a Los Angeles to Hawaii yacht race. He had steered his craft into the “North Pacific gyre” – a vortex where the ocean circulates slowly because of little wind and extreme high pressure systems. Usually sailors avoid it. He was astonished to find himself surrounded by rubbish, day after day, thousands of miles from land. “Every time I came on deck, there was trash floating by,” he said in an interview. “How could we have fouled such a huge area? How could this go on for a week?”

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/the-worlds-rubbish-dump-a-tip-that-stretches-from-hawaii-to-japan-778016.html

Do read this article Mr Moore warns that unless consumers cut back on their use of disposable plastics, the plastic stew would double in size over the next decade – note the article was written in 2008 so the situation is now most likely worse. Dumping trash particularly plastic is a serious environmental problem.

Plastic is not biodegrdable and will remain polluting our oceans for hundreds of years. Don’t be responsible for the death of millions of animals, stop throwing litter indiscriminately, put it in a trash bin, take it to a designated dump. Stop using plastic bags. Be responsible, garbage is more than unsightly it is a killer. Litter is estimated to kill more than one million seas birds annually and 100,000 mammals and sea turtles each year by ingestion and entanglement. And don’t forget land animals also die as a result of the careless or deliberate discarding of rubbish. Wild birds get their beaks trapped inside can rings and cannot open their beaks and die of starvation, animals get their heads stuck in jars and also starve to death. For more information about the effects of litter on both land and sea animals please read my previous entry here

Look at the photo below in the Durham Dales a wild and remote place designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty AONB

103_9271

Rubbish is thrown from car windows as people travel through the country roads, even walkers throw empty water bottles and cans. Sad they mar the countryside they come to enjoy. Other trash is deliberately dumped by people who are local instead of taking it to the designated council dumps.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA   Above litter discarded on the beach at Winterton Dunes Norfolk UK

This will shock you, if it doesn’t nothing else will:

Once a tropical paradise, the Citarum river on the Indonesian island of Java is now a toxic soup containing dangerously high levels of heavy metals, rubbish and sewage.

slide_345191_3605686_free

Read More and see more photographs:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/04/11/citarum-river-pollution-p_n_5132799.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cuk%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D256981

More information and Action you can take From GreenPeace

What YOU Can Do

We’re all responsible for this mess, and it will take all of us to stop it from getting worse. It’s time to completely rethink how we as a society use (or abuse) plastic.

Here are some things that you can do right now: Every time you see litter, pick it up and dispose of it properly.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — you’ve heard it before, but now you know what happens when you don’t. Be conscious of all that you buy, and be sure to avoid products with excessive packaging, especially in disposable products. Demand more and better recycling facilities in your area.

Take part in local stream, river and beach cleanups – or organize one yourself.

Though these don’t solve the problem, they are very effective at drawing attention to the greater problem offshore.

If you live near the ocean, or a river that drains into it, your storm drains are probably washing garbage right out to sea. Be conscious of potential sources of marine litter in your area. Demand that these are eliminated. Be very conscious of your ecological footprint. Encourage change though your decisions and do no accept the current paradigm of use and waste.

More information: Ocean plastic pollution and how you can help: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/trashing-our-oceans/

Please visit the following website for more ideas

Be a hero – pick up some litter

This is a site for people who want to dosomething about litter. It’s aim is to encourage as many people as possible to pick up litter and promote policies that will stop people littering. In a group or on your own, picking up litter is more than OK, it’s actually an enjoyable, safe and satisfying thing to do.

Five things you can do about litter

Continue reading:

http://www.litterheroes.co.uk/

Related article:

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/oceans/fit-for-the-future/pollution/trash-vortex/

Credit: Winterton Dunes photo: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beach_litter,_Winterton_Dunes_-_geograph.org.uk_-_966905.jpg

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