Plastic Soup

sealHave you ever heard about “the Asian Trash Trail”, “the Trash Vortex” or also called the “the Plastic Ocean”? These are terms for a heap of debris, compressed by the oceans currents, floating in the Pacific with twice the size of Texas.

There are hundreds of sources from scientific reports, rousing movies and desperate posts with information about this “Giant Floating Human Mess” (a term by, yours truly, Karin Timmel) on the web. Here are some facts in a nutshell:

–      According to National Geographic more than 200 million tones of plastic are produced each year of which about 10% ends up in the oceans.

–      About 20 percent of it is from ships and platforms, the rest from land.

sea-turtle-deformed–      About 44% of all seabirds eat plastic, apparently by mistake, most of the times with fatal effects.

–      267 marine species are affected by plastic garbage already.

–      An enormous number of fishes and birds are dying after eating tiny plastic morsels mistaken for prey.

But that’s not all! The major problem is that the big plastic items do not degrade like natural materials. In the ocean and on the shore under the influence of sunlight, wave activity and mechanical abrasion they simply break down into even smaller particles. This pollutes the oceans and a huge amount of turtle-eats-plasticmarine life suffers and an even bigger marine population dies. And as we are the last in the food chain, we are definitely experiencing the consequences of our actions.

The first time I started thinking about this topic was when scientists sent us an enquiry to hire one of our vessels for a deeper research. And for sure, we will rent them our boats and support plastic in oceanthem as best as we can. Our company provides drinking water from dispensers, we also try our best to convince our customers to refill their bottles and recycle plastic bottles on all our boats – because we care. And I care! Therefore I’m sending out information again and again, that’s why I’m posting links as much as possible and that’s the reason  why, every time  I drink up a bottle of water, I take my own cotton shopping bag and make sure I throw my trash at the right place.

One person can’t change much about anything – I’m pretty aware of that –  but if everybody just cares a little bit we can at least save the marine littermates of the generations we killed before. And I’m sure if you think about it, you will know what to do … or not to do.

“Plastic is not the enemy, but it’s our understanding of disposal and reuse that’s to blame.” (De Rothschild, National Geographic)

Expedition Fleet makes sure that our liveaboards discourage the harming of marine life through improper garbage disposal. We love to let people see the beauty of the deep and so we do our best to preserve that.

Some interesting links:

–      http://www.plasticoceans.net/

–      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/08/090820-plastic-decomposes-oceans-seas.html

–      http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/oceans/pollution/trash-vortex

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Comments

  1. Jamie Levy says:

    Thinking about plastic in the UK…We get pastic on nearly every product that we buy from a supermarket from a corn on the cob to ready made meals… Lets deal with all this wasteage why do we need that plastic.. However I do know that near me in London Tesco's recycling machine accepts the plastic .. not sure what happens to it but i know it is safely being disposed of .. So dumping plastic is just lazy …

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