The Plastic Crisis and How to Prevent It
Most people look forward to summer because they can head to the beach with their friends and family and enjoy its beauty and relaxation. Consequently, while we are enjoying these sandy beaches and blue waves, we overlook the millions of pounds of waste that is dumped into the ocean. Our ocean and beaches are not trash free environments and hold some of the highest amounts of pollution because of our carelessness. This is an issue we should not take lightly because it does not just affect the ocean. It affects marine life, destroys habitats, and most importantly threatens humanity. The oceans cover over 72 percent of the planet’s surface, providing over 97 percent of the world’s water supply and over 70 percent of the oxygen we breathe. Anyone who wants to do their part to make the Earth a better place needs to start taking action. You can even start taking action right from your very home. Here at Love Blue, we encourage everyone to be mindful of where they are disposing of their waste. We encourage you to always recycle and aim to use reusable products instead of plastic. This is because plastic ends up in the ocean, thus contributing to the toxic Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
For those of you that are unaware of this virulent vortex, it is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world. It’s located between Hawaii and California in the North Pacific Ocean. The patch is not what you think it may be. It is comprised of marine debris, litter, and most of this debris is underwater, not seen on top of the surface. Oceanographers and ecologists discovered that around 70% of marine debris sinks to the bottom of the ocean. This makes this issue even more dangerous because at first glance the water looks unharmed but beneath holds millions of pieces of plastics and microplastics that are extremely harmful. The North Pacific Gyre is created by California, North Equatorial, Kuroshio, and North Pacific currents and traps the litter in the center. The debris only continues to build up because it becomes trapped between the gyres, thus expanding this poisonous patch.
Plastic’s durability, low cost, and malleability make it appealing to consumer and industrial products. However, plastic does not breakdown. Making it one of the biggest, most destructive contributors to the GPGP. Additionally, plastics have toxic chemicals in them that are harmful when consumed. Since plastic has progressively become an every-day substance in the ocean, marine animals confuse the plastic for food. This results in malnutrition and the risk of entanglement in this debris and threatens their overall behavior, health, and existence. Not only does this affect marine life but these chemicals that affected the plastic feeders could then be present within humans as well. The scariest part is that the GPGP covers an estimated surface area of 1.6 million square kilometers. That means an area twice the size of Texas or three times the size of France. If we do not start to take initiative for our actions this toxic gyre will continue to grow and harm us alongside our precious planet.
This is why Love Blue Inc. was founded, with positive intentions to put an end to ocean pollution and restore our Earth to the healthiest it can be. There is a plastic crisis going on and we can not sit back and continue to contribute to it. Our mission at Love Blue is to spreading awareness and educate the public about the dangers of pollution. Remember you do not have to be by a body of water to help us pursue this goal. Use biodegradable and recycle products and remember to dispose of your waste in the proper place. Always look for local alternatives that support our environment as well. Our partner Barrel Bag produces sustainable cleanup bags from recycled plastic that provide the easiest way to store and remove litter from the land and coastal waterways. Furthermore, other partner Grass Straws make environmentally safer and economically smarter alternative straws that are eco-friendly, biodegradable, and compostable. You can find these products under our partner's page on our website. These are simple ways to start heading in the right direction for a cleaner and greener planet.