The Plastic Epidemic

Our wildlife is being killed by our carelessness. So, what can we do about it?

Hello from Blue Velvet! We have been so excited to be sharing information on a topic that we are so passionate about, ocean pollution. We all know it happens and we all see the pictures and videos that circulate the media of animals being caught in rings of plastic and dead whales washing up on beaches with huge amounts of trash and plastic in their stomachs. We can all recognize that it is bad but then we move on to the next post in our feed. I challenge you to stop for more than 3 seconds on those posts and really digest what the problem is with that image or video.

 

Where does it come from?

Plastic materials have, for a long time, been very convenient for us to use to eat, to store things in, to contain products, to make toys, and much much more. We started making things out of plastic and never looked back. Now, we are being forced to look at the consequences of our actions. Plastic takes years to possibly breakdown and will likely never biodegrade. It might seem cool that plastic is so durable and cheap but our misuse of it is causing problems. Trash finds its way to the ocean in a variety of ways, but almost all of those include us, humans, mindlessly littering and trashing our environment.

 

What kind of plastic is out there?

Once something is thrown in the ocean it can be broken down by the sun, waves, and animals trying to eat it. After this, plastic ends up turning into small strands and balls that are hard to even see. This is called microplastics. Microplastics find their way to the sea floor and have a harder time breaking down because of the lack of sunlight. Then, animals end up accidentally eating these tiny pieces of plastic and it builds up in their stomachs. We are much more used to seeing turtles biting through water bottles and whale engulfing mouthfuls of debris, but as you can see, it is not just the large pieces of debris that are causing problems to our wildlife.

 

What do we need to do?

It seems monotonous to keep telling people to throw away their trash and to be mindful of their use of plastic, but we truly do need to be more mindful. We are products of our environment and right now, our environment is turning into a big pile of trash. Our actions are hurting us as well as the animals that inhabit this earth with us. The solution starts with being conscious of the problem and diligently trying to find ways to stop it, as well as educating others. Let’s work together to make this planet a place where we can all healthily cohabitate and thrive.

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