“You wouldn’t think you could kill an ocean, would you? But we’ll do it one day. That’s how negligent we are.”
― Ian Rankin,
We have been damaging sea life at a rate that is completely out of control. As plastic waste grows we NEED to do something NOW. If nothing is done things are only going to become worse.
The United Nations Oceans Chief Lisa Svensson believes that if governments, firms, and the people of the world come together and make an effort we can save the Oceans of the world. Svensson told BBC before the UN environment summit in Nairobi that “This is a planetary crisis.” She claims that “In a few short decades since we discovered the convenience of plastics, we are ruining the ecosystem of the ocean.”
That being said, she does note that the scale of this challenge is enormous. Turtles and other creatures are consuming the plastic and according to Caspar Van de Greer head of the turtle hospital. Because some plastic can resemble jellyfish turtles will continue to eat it and end up dying. While turtles are not stupid it can be difficult to tell the difference between jellyfish and plastics, it could be something turtles never learn to differentiate.
Plastic is not just something that is going to go away. It is increasingly finding its way into our oceans and onto our beaches. Every single day in the Los Angeles area alone 10 metric tons of plastic fragments are carried into the Pacific Ocean.
Plastic pollution is killing thousands of sea turtles, birds, and other marine mammals each year. It is time to do something about this crisis. Fish in the North Pacific ingest anywhere from 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic each year, does that sound okay to you? Those fish suffer from internal injuries and die because of human ignorance.
The UN resolution for all of this is not something with any kind of time limit and is not legally binding as of right now. But, according to BBC ministers at an environmental summit in Kenya, it will set the course for tougher policies to be put into place. It does acknowledge at a political level the threat posed by plastic pollution and may get the ball rolling. Sadly any kind of stronger motion was rejected after the United States would not agree to any specific internationally agreed goals. This problem is growing so intensely that some countries have a near total ban on plastics as even cattle were becoming sick from eating plastic.
UN spokesman Sam Barratt told BBC News as follows on this subject:
“Of course we would have liked to have gone further, but this meeting’s made real progress.”
“There’s now a sense of urgency and energy behind the issue that we haven’t quite seen before.”
“What is obvious, though, is that the UN can’t solve this problem on its own. We need to do it in partnership with governments, businesses, and even individuals.”
While we do not yet know what is going to be done it does seem efforts will be made on some level. Let’s hope that everyone can get behind an intense cleanup and cutback program before things are too late.
(Image Via: Pixabay/hhach)