Soapbox – Marine Trash

Simon Reeve on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

One of the most upsetting experiences of my journeys around the world happened in an unlikely spot: on a remote beach in the tropical paradise of Hawaii.

Finishing a long journey around the Tropic of Cancer, I was amazed to discover Hawaiian beaches covered in plastic rubbish washed-up from around the world. Pristine sand had been covered by old plastic toothbrushes, combs, shoes and belts. Plastic shatters into smaller and smaller pieces, so beaches were covered in billions of tiny plastic flecks, transforming the sandy beach into a plastic beach. It sent a chill down my spine

Of all the issues I’ve investigated on my trips, I have no doubt the most critical challenge we face is our relationship with our environment. Nobody should be in denial about the damage we are doing with deforestation, over-population, and by poisoning our oceans with plastic rubbish. We are soiling our own nest.

Worryingly, the plastic we see on our beaches is just a fraction of the plastic waste that is clogging our oceans. In total at least 100 million tons of plastic is sloshing around in our seas. The scale of the problem is extraordinary. Hawaiian beaches are being swamped by rubbish from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vast plastic soup, twice the size of France, floating in the Pacific Ocean.

Plastic waste is an international scandal, and a global problem for which we are all responsible. So I beg you to spurn and reject the main culprits: plastic bags, plastic packaging, and disposable plastic water bottles, a wasteful environmental obscenity. These make up the bulk of the plastic garbage.

At stake is nothing less than the environment of our planet… Simon Reeve

If you want to know more about the: Great Pacific Garbage Patch Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation  discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he’s drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas.

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