18 Tonnes Of Plastic Waste Found On Uninhabited Island

18 Tonnes Of Plastic Waste Found On Uninhabited Island.

I cannot imagine 18 tonnes or 38 million pieces of marine plastic detritus on a remote uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. This is just surface debris. What is possibly unseen, which is beneath the waves, is horrendous to even imagine. Plastic cannot biodegrade; it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. As landfills, plastic leachate full of toxic chemicals is seeping into groundwater and flowing downstream into lakes and rivers. Plankton, the tiniest creatures in our oceans, are eating micro-plastics and absorbing their toxins, displacing nutritive algae that creatures up the food chain require. Manufacturers’ additives in plastics, like flame retardants, BPAs and PVCs, can leach their own toxins. Chemicals leached by plastics are in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us, and certain levels of exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments. Entanglement, ingestion and habitat disruption all result from plastic ending up in the spaces where animals live. Everything suffers: tourism, recreation, business, the health of humans, animals, fish and birds—because of plastic pollution. The financial damage continuously being inflicted is inestimable. What can we do? Disposable plastic items are so common that it’s easy not to notice them. But disposable plastic is everywhere — ubiquitous plastic bottles of water, soda or other liquids; the plastic straws delivered in our drinks; the plastic bags offered to us at stores; the plastic cups, bottles and utensils at nearly every social event; the plastic packaging of nearly everything in the supermarket. Once you see all this stuff for what it truly is — plastic pollution — it’s simple to just REFUSE. It will be up to us to reduce our own plastic footprint.

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