Man-Made Trash Devastating World’s Oceans

Man-Made Trash Devastating World’s Oceans

This is some scary stuff..........................

A new report, released Tuesday by the Ocean Conservancy, warns that enormous amounts of man-made trash are threatening the world’s oceans, damaging wildlife and harming the seafood and tourism industries.

The garbage is further stressing seas already affected by global climate change, the report said.

The report called the "tidal wave of ocean debris a major pollution problem of the 21st century.”

The Ocean Conservancy said its report, entitled "A Rising Tide of Ocean Debris and What We Can Do About It,” provided a ”global snapshot of marine debris” based on records of trash collected by nearly 400,000 volunteers in 104 places during one day last September.

The volunteers collected nearly 7 million pounds of rubbish, roughly the weight of 18 blue whales, from oceans, rivers, lakes and waterways during the cleanup, the report said.

Cigarette butts, plastic bags, food wrappers and containers were among the most common of the 11.4 million items of trash collected. 

In the Philippines alone, 11,077 diapers were collected, while 19,504 fishing nets were collected in Britain.

"Our ocean is sick, and our actions have made it so," said Vikki Spruill, the group’s president and chief executive, in a statement accompanying the report.

"We simply cannot continue to put our trash in the ocean. The evidence turns up every day in dead and injured marine life, littered beaches that discourage tourists, and choked ocean ecosystems," she added.

"By changing behaviors and policies, individuals, companies, and governments can help improve the health of our ocean, the Earth's life support system."

The report described in detail how such waste poisoned oceans and waterways, entered the food chain, harmed beachgoers and hurt local economies by draining precious dollars from tourism and seafood industries.

Thousands of marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles and others are choked or poisoned each year by consuming the trash.  The animals sometimes drown when they became entangled in bags, ropes and old fishing gear. Indeed, volunteers found 443 animals entangled or trapped by marine debris during the cleanup, 268 of which were released alive.

"Keeping our ocean free of trash is one of the easiest ways we can help improve the ocean's resilience as it tries to adapt to the harmful effects of climate change such as melting ice, rising sea levels, and changing ocean chemistry,"  Reuters quoted the Ocean Conservancy as saying.

The group called for public and private partnerships to reduce marine trash and for additional funding for research on the matter.  A policy of "reduce, reuse, recycle", combined with other technology-based solutions, would help reduce trash levels, it said.

"Trash doesn't fall from the sky, it falls from our hands," Spruill told Reuters.

"Humans have created the problem of marine debris, and humans should step up and solve it."

Ocean Conservancy’s next International Coastal Cleanup is scheduled for September 19.

JojoWazoo JojoWazoo
46-50, F
18 Responses Mar 11, 2009

Absolutely, ofthegallows. Recycle, reduce and reuse. I'll go for reuse and reduce to minimize recycling.

Recycling eats up just as much energy and pollutes the air just as much as manufacturing. Sure, it's not adding another container to the landfill, but that doesn't mean it's not filthy also. <br />
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Computers are involved in this modern convenience. Let's not forget how bloody our own keyboards are...

Very wise words from a beautiful wise owl! Yes, paper does mean chopping down trees but we can recycle what we do have, and figure out a way to do it so it's not so damaging to the environment too. the bleaching aspect is terrible. There is much to be done with post consumer waste. Bottles and recycling glass is a wonderful idea. We reuse a lot of glass at my house. our drinking glasses are jars! we recycle what we don't use but at the same time, there should be deposits on them and be encouraged to recycle. It's a daily way of life up north. Plastics should be banned at all costs, in my opinion. That includes plastic bags, ziplocks, food storage containers, oil bottles and everything else. Modern conveniences are a severe detriment to us all!

well said Jojo, I respect this post. Unless humans knock off the denial and look at what's fact, earth is going to be a cesspool. The ocean's are a dump and killing all species swimming in it. The air,forest,beaches are littered beyond acceptance! Humans will never stop dumping trash. Less plastics for sure..what could take the place of it? Maybe going back to glass, as it's easy to recycle? Paper means chopping down more trees. That is a problem too.

The planet will survive whether humankind does or not. And many species will also survive. Worry not. But DO do everything you can to live compassionately and responsibly. "Live simply so that others may simply live".

Your friend must listen to Rush Limbaugh and all of the other naysayers. All you have to do is look at the end of your nose but those people are like sheep and don't look, they just follow. Truly pathetic, for us and our once healthy world.

I was talking to my friend about this the other day and he said "You have no tangible proof. I don't believe you."<br />
I cried later..

And stop pig farming on the planet! Look what that's doing to the environment!

Thanks JoJo......<br />
We have to find ways to spread the word and to make those who are apathetic understand the need to stop being pigs on the planet

Thank you for reading it. We need to let everyone know what is happening to our home which sustains our very existence!

This is a great start. As you know, I already support canvas shopping bags. I wish I could crochet the recycled plastic bag shopping bags but I can't get the speed down. It would be a great business!<br />
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I am appalled that they don't have deposits on glass and plastic like they do in NY. It would be a wonderful start down here in the south! I'm on it!

Thank you JoJo<br />
1) spread the word and write blogs and newspaper editorial comments.<br />
2) write emails to every congressman and senator that you know of and insist on the ecology taking top priority and for plastics companies to be required to address the problems they have created<br />
3)Insist that everyone you know use canvas shopping bags and to spread the word.<br />
4) Insist your grocery chains reduce usage of plastic bags by phasing them out and by selling canvas bags to their customers... They stop paying for the plastics and reap profits on the canvas bags a double win.<br />
5) contact state and local govts and tell them you want to see a return to the deposit on glass bottles and on plastic bottles as well... to include all plastic bottles such as shampoo and such.<br />
If you need more let me know

By the way... Plastics don't bio degrade... see Plastics in my post... they just break down to ever smaller pieces until they become subatomic level pollutants.<br />
Think about the harm they can cause on a subatomic level.<br />
I am talking disassembling out foundation for all life and all natural structural bondings.<br />
Our world will spin out of existence rapidly if we don't do something to stop the insanity

I have been watching it for years as well.<br />
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I am your EP Eco News Partner.........Let me know what I can do.<br />

Absolutely correct in all you say.<br />
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I have been following the oceans trash glut for nearly a decade now.<br />
It only gets worse.<br />
The reason I came back to EP so soon was to start using EP as a platform to spread eco news

Elfin, I thought of you immediately when I read this article.<br />
Have you seen the satellite imagery of the tidal debris in the Pacific Ocean? It is so very alarming. If you haven't, Google it.<br />
It will make you sick, sick, sick. I heard today on Planet Green HD that it would take over 200 years for a plastic bottle to biodegrade. I don't see it happening at all, especially when they make 4-7 grade plastics and PVC's.<br />
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I have been on a letter writing kick. Sunday evening, my husband came home from work after stopping at Burger King. he had one of their jumbo drink cups. When I turned it over, it had a 6 in the triangle. This pissed me off immensely. I also wrote to Arby's because they use plastic containers for their sandwiches! What happened to paper? I will not be eating at these places as long as they are fast food places with environmentally unfriendly practices. This has become such a throw away society with no regard for anything but their own selfish interests and people have no clue. It is disgusting and I don't know what it is going to take other than to keep talking about it and hope that it catches on. There has to be consequences, besides the ones that are heaped on the environment. We were arguing Cap and Trade issues on another issue. You can't seem to get it across to the conservatives who believe there's no such thing as global warming and their head is in the sand about pollution and overfishing and everything else related to this issue. All they see is money and more greed, all to the detriment of our beautiful earth. Ok, I'm done but I don't feel better about it!

Bravo JoJo!!!!!!!!!!!!!<br />
This is the result of unrestricted Capitalism and its greed.<br />
The plastics industry has to retool and reformulate to something more environmentally friendly and fishermen and fishing factories have to be fined for the nets they let loose.<br />
Society needs to be more severe in the punishments against those who litter and the trucks that spew trash need tighter control of their loads or to face fines for spewing trash onto our highways.<br />
All water removal systems need to filter the water leading to the oceans and Chemicals need to be reformulated to be eco friendly<br />
Thanks for this great post

This deeply disturbs me. The neglegence of mankind never ceases to amaze me...<br />
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Good job raising awareness. The world needs to understand that our actions have serious consequences