Friday, May 25, 2012

Sailing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - Charles Moore (TED TALK)

Rating ****
Nowadays, the percentage of plastic that humans recycle is close to nothing. I found it hard to believe that according to Charles Moore, 2 million plastic bottles are being used every five minutes in the U.S! The amount of plastic packaging is increasing but we can’t simply strain the ocean of it’s plastic. It is beyond any countries budget and the process may kill large amounts of sea life. So, in this TED talk, Charles Moore presents his only solution to restrict the growth of the garbage whirlpool known as the “Pacific Gyre”.

Charles’ solution is to stop plastic production at its source. If we stop it on land, it can’t fall into the ocean. Charles first discovered the giant garbage patch during a yachting competition across the pacific. It is now double the size of Texas! He founded the Algalita Marine Research Foundation to raise awareness of the endless floating waste of plastic trash. They now have taken many samples of ocean water that contain more plastic that plankton. The research foundation is calling plastic bottle caps “poison pills”. They did a study of the most common fish at the base of the food chain. Through hundreds of tests, they found that 1/3 of the fish were polluted with “poison pills”. The record holder fish was jus 2 and ½ inches long but carried 84 pieces of plastic in its tiny stomach.
What put things into perspective during this TED talk for me, was the mentioning of hundreds of thousands of albatross birds in northwest Hawaii who are mistaking plastic bottle caps and fragments for food on the ocean’s surface. Charles shows several pictures he took of baby albatross with at least 50 bottle caps and a few cigarette lighters in their stomachs, lying dead on the beaches of Hawaii.
Although Charles is trying to raise awareness to teach about marine pollution and it’s impact on not only marine life, but also all life, he seems to have little hope for the growing problem; he calls it ‘a plastic wrapped world.’ It is unfortunate that the 'no recycling routine' has become a habit that is too hard to quit. The numbers and statistics that Charles provides really helped me understand just how much one person can contribute to plastic pollution. 

TED. "Sailing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch." Capt. Charles Moore on the seas of plastic. N.p., 2009. Web. 25 May 2012. 

No comments:

Post a Comment