Tuesday, November 07, 2006
The ocean can absorb heat from the sun and carbon dioxide from the air, but it can't absorb our plastic trash. A report released yesterday by Greenpeace states that plastic people threw away and was subsequently dumped into the ocean is now part of the marine environment and (surprise, surprise) is harming animals.
"Marine debris has become a pervasive pollution problem affecting all of the world’s oceans. It is known to be the cause of injuries and deaths of numerous marine animals and birds, either because they become entangled in it or they mistake it for prey and eat it," the report reads.
So what we throw away does not actually go "away" after all! It does to the extent that most people just don't see it floating in the ocean, even though a select few have observed it first hand. Carl Safina, an ecologist and award-winning writer, points out some of the dangers of garbage that he saw in the oceans in his book Voyage of the Turtle, released earlier this year.
I'm not advocating a toothbrush reuse program or anything, but I don't think it hurts to know that discarded plastics are swimming among the fish.