Plastic Island: How our throwaway culture is turning paradise into a graveyard

Posted In Inform, Pollution

Plastic pollution, Hawaii.
“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”
Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care


The distance from humanity yawns out in front of you when you stand on the pale sands of this tiny Pacific island.

Midway Atoll is just about the furthest piece of land from civilization and its constant engine whir, data and jostle.

Standing on the island’s remote shoreline brings a calm and humility — until you look down at your feet…

Read Full Article, CNN (12-01-2016)

“Midway.” A Love Story for our Time from the Heart of the Pacific”—By Chris Jordan, Midway Film; (04-01-2015)
A shocking film from Midway Island in the North Pacific Ocean. By Midway Film.

Midway Journey II, An Environmental Tragedy Depicted (02-2011)
Five media artists, led by photographer Chris Jordan, traveled to Midway Atoll to witness the catastrophic effect of our disposable culture on some of the world’s most beautiful and symbolic creatures. But even more, they embarked on an introspective journey to confront a vitally relevant question: In this time of unprecedented global crisis, how can we move through grief, denial, despair and immobility into new territories of acceptance, possibility, and wise action?

Great Pacific garbage patch far bigger than imagined, aerial survey shows; Guardian UK (10-04-2016)

Plastic pollution: When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
For more than 50 years, global production and consumption of plastics have continued to rise. An estimated 300 million tons of plastics were produced in 2015, confirming and upward trend over the past years, according to a new report by the World Economics Forum, released at Davos in January 2016.
Plastic is versatile, lightweight, flexible, moisture resistant, strong, and relatively inexpensive. Those are the attractive qualities that lead us, around the world, to such a voracious appetite and over-consumption of plastic goods. However, durable and very slow to degrade, plastic materials that are used in the production of so many products all, ultimately, become waste with staying power. Our tremendous attraction to plastic, coupled with an undeniable behavioral propensity of increasingly over-consuming, discarding, littering and thus polluting, has become a combination of lethal nature…

Here’s How Much Plastic Ends Up In the World’s Oceans,The Time (02-13-2015)
Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans, it’s equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline…

The Ocean Is Contaminated by Trillions More Pieces of Plastic Than Thought, IOP Science (12-08-2015)
This new study suggests there are 15 to 51 trillion micro plastic particles (those less than 200 millimeters in size) in the world’s oceans, weighing between 93 and 236,000 metric tons. This is about seven times more than scientists had previously estimated…

More plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, Guardian UK (01-19-2016)
One refuse truck’s-worth of plastic is dumped into the sea every minute, and the situation is getting worse, according to a new report launched at the World Economic Forum today. New plastics will consume 20% of all oil production within 35 years, up from an estimated 5% today…

Plastic Waste Causes $13 Billion In Annual Damage To Marine Ecosystems, UN (06-2014)
Concern is growing over widespread plastic waste that is threatening marine life – with conservative yearly estimates of $13 billion in financial damage to marine ecosystems, according to two reports issued at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly.

Ocean Plastic is Likely Disappearing Into the Food Chain, New Study Indicates, Guardian UK (02-13-2015)

Plastic Contaminates Ocean Sourced Table Salt, Scientific American (10-30-2015)
When researchers analyzed fifteen brands of common table salt bought at supermarkets across China, they found among the grains of seasoning micro-sized particles of plastic. The highest level of plastic contamination was found in salt sourced from the ocean…

Biodegradable Plastics Are Not the Answer to Reducing Marine Litter, Says UN; UN News Center (11-23-2015)
Widespread adoption of products labelled ‘biodegradable’ will not significantly decrease the volume of plastic entering the ocean or the physical and chemical risks that plastics pose to marine environment, concluded a UN report…

Collecting plastic waste near coasts ‘is most effective clean-up method’, Guardian UK (01-19-2016)

Loving the Ocean Starts at Home, National Geographic (09-08-2016)


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