Could plastic lead to our own destruction?

It is estimated that eight million tons of plastic finds its way into our oceans every single year. Why is this a big deal? When plastic breaks down it forms into what we call ‘nano plastics’ small bits of plastic that are absorbed by fish, causing genetic mutation — which is then passed onto offspring. Aside from the massive amounts of damage plastic does to our marine eco systems, no one knows what the long term effects of ‘nano plastics’ are, to the fish — or the people who eat the fish.

In 2016 CNN ran a story on this issue (see video above) which shows, first hand how dangerous plastic can be and how quickly it spreads across the planet. It isn’t only nano-plastics, and destruction of vital eco systems we have to worry about, its other creatures that relie on the sea for their food. With plastic appearing, even in remote corners of the world where humans have yet to reach it is no surprise; then that other animals mistake plastic for food. Every year thousands of birds across the globe mistake plastic for ‘squid’ or ‘fish’, feeding it to their young causing them to choke and die. This problem is highlighted in all its brutality in the video above where the problem has become so bad that people on the island have to load up wheelbarrows of thousands of dead young birds who have been choked to death by your refreshing bottle of water.

Understandably people want to tune out of doom-and-gloom like this, we hear it every day and people become numb to it. It is much easier to live your life and let ‘someone else’ sort it out. Unfortunatly it is this attitude which has got us into the mess we are in now. Humans have become so powerful that we, for the first time in our planets history, have the power to change the very core of our world – and this is both a humbling, yet also very scary.

What does that mean? It means that this new status comes with responsibility. Responsibility that each, and everyone of us much share. It is far too easy to shift the blame onto someone else and let them deal with it, so please — next time you throw that plastic bottle away please consider the damage you are doing to your home. Put in that bit of extra effort and recycle it.

The greatest threat to our planet, is the believe someone else will save it‘ –Robern Swan

 

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