Forget about Paired Shoes for a Minute. Let’s Talk Trash.
Forget about paired shoes and used clothing for a minute, and let’s talk about trash. Ocean trash.
The trash accumulating in our oceans is a growing problem. Developed in the 1800s and popularized in the post WWII era, plastic has become a staple in our homes, workplaces, clothing, automobiles–everywhere. Once a rarity, it’s difficult nowadays to avoid plastic. Historically its disposal has not been controlled. The “out of sight out of mind” method was the most popular disposal technique for decades. That all changed in 1997 when a giant patch of floating plastic debris was found in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Since then, teams of researchers and scientists have worked hard to understand the problem so that it can effectively be solved.
The production of plastic has quadrupled since the 1980s. A large amount of it is recycled, some of it is thrown away and winds up in landfills across the world, and some of it ends up in the ocean. But how much?
As of mid-2015, The National Geographic estimated that there was about 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. That’s roughly 750 pieces of trash for every person on the planet. If you’re not shocked and appalled by that number, you should be. That is a staggering amount of garbage. And frankly, it’s not even 100% accurate. It’s just a conservative estimate.
From the Nat Geo website:
“Ocean trash is counted in three ways: through beach surveys, computer models based on samples collected at sea, and estimates of the amount of trash entering the oceans.
The most recent counts involved computer modeling based on samples taken at sea. The models may not account for all of the trash, scientists say; nonetheless, the new numbers are helping address some of the questions.”
Yikes. Bottom line: Use lest plastic and support research and cleanup efforts. Impossible as that may sound to go plastic-free, it is indeed possible to do. Use glass containers to store food. Wear natural fibers instead of synthetic (this may be a challenge when it comes to shoes, but with care, you may be able to find paired shoes that are 100% plastic-free!), and use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic grocery sacks. Together we can reduce ocean trash!