Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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This is a message by Captain Charles Moore, an oceanographer who pioneered the study of plastic debris, and was recorded during the Strategic Council on Plastic Pollution convened at the Google Campus in Mountain View, California on June 4, 2009. It was the first meeting for the council on plastic pollution, which was recently formed to raise awareness of this rising threat to the world’s oceans. Council member and marine biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, noted that “we are finding plastic in the stomachs of sea turtles, birds, and fish all over the world. I find this extremely disturbing.”


Do you know where our plastic goes?

Did you know that our oceans are filling up with plastic pollution?

Plastic fragments contaminate even the most remote locations on earth, and harmful chemicals leached by plastics are present in the bloodstream and tissues of almost every one of us.

Plastic pollution harms people, animals, and the environment. Plastic is not biodegradable. In the marine environment, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller particles that absorb toxic chemicals, are ingested by wildlife, and enter the food chain that we depend on.

Consumption of throwaway plastics, such as bottles, containers, bags, and packaging, has spiraled out of control.

Recycling is not a sustainable solution. The reality is that most of our plastic waste is landfilled, downcycled or exported to other countries. And tragically, millions of tons of plastic are poisoning our oceans.

Businesses and governments need to take responsibility for new ways to design, recover and dispose of plastics.

Plastic pollution is the visible symbol of our global crisis of over-consumption. Let’s pledge to shift our societies away from the disposable habits that poison our oceans and land, eliminate our consumption of throwaway plastics, and begin embracing a culture of sustainability.

Our health, our children, and the survival of future generations depend on us.

Comments

  1. #1 Luna_the_cat
    October 16, 2009

    I’m glad you’re raising awareness of this. This is one of those difficult “out of sight, out of mind” things that humans are so crap at dealing with effectively; the more it is brought into people’s sight the better.

  2. #2 Kevin Z
    October 16, 2009

    You rock Grrl! This issue needs to be raised EVERY WEEK. It is so important and cannot fall off the wayside of the public eye. Thanks for your dedication!

  3. #3 Ocean Revolution
    October 16, 2009

    pluckfastic.org

    (get your sticker, spread the word)

  4. #4 Max
    October 17, 2009

    Do any of you really think that plastic is going away? It isn’t and the sad truth is that more of it is going to be produced. Thinking that we can ban all plastic is not facing up to the problem. We need to look at how we can make plastic safer and how we can encourage manufacturers to taking responsibility for the products and packaging of their products. It’s kind of cool to join in the ban the bottle or do away with plastic parade but if we want to really do something we should start demanding that the products and packaging we purchase are designed to be cradle to cradle. Plastic products must be made to be used, reused, recycled and when the life of the product is over, reclaimed as a harmless substance. We can do this by voting with our wallets….don’t buy products that aren’t environmentally friendly. Support companies that are trying to make a real difference, let your elected officials know that you want realistic changes….you and I know that plastic isn’t going to be banned. Plastic can be made that is biodegradable….all plastic should be biodegradable.
    Max
    http://www.ensobottles.com

  5. #5 Manuel
    October 27, 2009

    Wonderful, thanks for spreading the word!

    The Strategic Council on Plastic Pollution is now a part of the recently created Plastic Pullution Coalition. Check it out

    http://plasticpollutioncoalition.org/

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