Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Trash on the Spin Cycle - PBS

image credit PBS

This is a short video featuring Jean-Michel Cousteau speaking about ocean debris and the Great Pacific Garbage patch. It's really sad, some of the things going on here.

Cousteau is in the Hawaiian Islands (That's right, this is in America, people. Not some far-off distant land), where literally tons of garbage wash up from our disposable lifestyle.

"About 80% of this debris comes from land; it makes its way into storm drains, then rivers, then travels down our watersheds into the ocean."

What's worse is that the islands are nesting grounds for many important seabird species. The adults often mistake tiny plastic particles for food and will consume them, filling their bellies with non-digestibles so that the birds will feel full and stop eating, but in reality will actually be starving themselves to death. When the chicks hatch, the parents feed the plastics to their young.

In the video you can see piles of bird bones surrounded by tiny plastic particles. Cousteau even flips over a dead bird, and you can see the plastic falling out of its rotted stomach.

"We need to do better than this," he says. "It is our problem, and it is our problem to solve."

Video here (PBS)
See recent post about the Atlantic Garbage Patch


DOH! I almost forgot!!
I wanted to link you to an awesome post I saw yesterday about what to do with all your plastic shopping bags you have hanging around. Check it out!
(Buy me that first new-bag made out of old-bags.)

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