There’s no denying that plastic pollution is a real problem. In the US alone, less than 5 percent of our plastics are recycled, with dire consequences for the environment. A plastic bottle discarded in the trash will eventually make its way to the ocean, where it may break down, but it will never completely degrade. When a plastic object hits the ocean, sunlight breaks it down into tiny pieces, many of which are floating just below the surface of the water rather than on top. Many animals mistake these bits for plankton, constantly ingesting a gruel of deadly plastic that outweighs plankton by 6 to 1 in the Pacific gyre alone. With odds like that, it would seem marine ecosystems hardly stand a chance.
Scores of marine creatures, including sea birds and turtles, are dying of starvation with their stomachs full of plastic. Because of their high density in the ocean, plastics are invading every level of our food web, creating a tragic cycle of being poisoned by the very pollutants we produce. This video takes a gritty look at the severity of the plastic waste situation in an effort to open people’s eyes to the reality of our disposable world.
Image via Kevin Krejci