What is Plastic Soup? The Plastic Soup are pockets of garbage-filled waters located in the East and West of the Pacific Ocean.
The Plastic Soup has a major impact on marine life within the Pacific Ocean. Large marine animals, such as whales, that swim within the infested waters ingest copious amounts of plastic without their knowing. The plastic is like poison; it stays within the whales stomach for years and eventually kills them.
Large marine life aren't the only concern we have regarding Plastic Soup. Small marine life, such as fish, are also at a huge risk, because of the world-wide consumption we have for it. Fisher-man don't know how far the fish they have caught have travelled from, and they are unaware if the fishes have ingested any small particles of plastic. There are grave concerns that humans are at a risk of ingesting plastic from seafood.
The Plastic Soup problem is escalating at an alarming rate. Scientists have said that there are particles of plastic so small, that when you pick up a handful of sand and look at it under a microscope, you will see plastic. This raises great fears for humans, because if there are microscopic pieces of plastic on our beaches, what can be said for the pieces that could be found in our drinking water.
- An estimated 4.7 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into the oceans each year. That's an average of 12,000 tonnes per day. - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates 100,000 marine mammals and at least a million seabirds are killed by marine debris every year. - More plastic has been produced in the last ten years than during the entire last century. - We currently produce more than 250 million tonnes of plastic per year. About half of this is used just once and is then immediately discarded. - Each year, 500 billion plastic bags are used globally. That is more than one million bags per minute.
What can we do to help reduce plastic pollution? Avoid toxic plastics (no. 3, PVC; no. 6, PS; no. 7, various types of plastic) Bring your own non plastic bags or drink out of a re-usable canteen. Do not use disposable plastics. Less is more (do not buy pre-packaged fruit and vegetables) Chose glass over PET and cans (cans contain a toxic plastic coating) Recycle Put waste where it belongs (don’t throw your waste on the street or in the water)
Videos for thought http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ql6uJk0TcnQA video on what Plastic Soup is and how it effects the environment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYnd5JRu86E#t=79A cute video that shows a 'flash-mob' reaction when a stranger picks up a 'planted bottle' that was left near a recycling container, and puts it in the trash.