Look at the picture on the left side of the page titled, Plastic Pollution is Deadly. What words comes to mind? GROSS, Yucky, Ick, Nasty?? How about killer? Scientists estimate that cast-off plastic KILLS roughly 1 million sea birds AND 100,000 marine animals like dolphins and sea turtles each year. Mind boggling! And, get ready for another hard-to-swallow statistic, 80% -- so almost all -- of the TRASH in the ocean is PLASTIC. Plastic takes a long time to break down, so it is not unusual for that toothpaste cap you throw out with today's trash to end up floating in the ocean dumpster. AND, all of those bits and pieces of plastic, including lots and lots of bags, all pool together to create one mega Garbage Dump that is growing daily. According to Scholastic 's Science World April 19th issue, "most of the floating garbage comes from the roughly 200 BILLION pounds of plastic people use each year, or which some 10 percent ends up in the ocean. Much of the trash comes from the land, brought by sewage systems and rivers. Since a plastic bottle can take as long as 500 YEARS to break down, it can swirl in the garbage patch for a very long time."
Last week we celebrated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. We need to do better, make every day earth day. Figure out what you can do to reduce waste. Bringing your own bag to the store is an easy start. What else can you do? Create a list, but don't use paper!