The Big Choke

Attention Seven-Sea Travelers:
Plastic Will Be Your Global Host

Here’s something else that gets aggravated with climate change and the rising seas: plastic pollution. From landfills to coastlines, deserted islands to the poles, our insatiable thirst for bottles and straws are choking marine life and killing Earth’s biggest food source. Maybe because we treat it that way.
Ok, so you’ve heard all about this before, but now isn’t the best time to think about it, for you’re taking off on vacation. Fine, but here’s a spoiler alert: masses of stray plastic are likely to greet you at every destination you may land, no matter how remote or exotic.
Granted, there’s a level of undisguised jealously in bringing this up, just in time some lucky few are planning a deserving time off. The way it goes, though, it may get even worse by the time the other 95% finally have their turn by the beach under the sun.
In the end, we all pay for this waste one way or another. That is, us, who trade the future for a little comfort. For much of what’s happening out there in the open sea got started at our own oh so cozy homes.
That’s not blaming, only a much needed accountability for dead turtles and sea birds, guts busted open with spilled containers and utensils, whose pictures are all over the Internet. Still, we insist on having that extra plastic bag, or iPhone case, at our local retailer.

What follows debunks naggers’ excuses. There are things one can do, and they are a lot. A number of sites list hundreds of steps anyone can take to gradually eliminate plastic from their lives. Not all of it, for sure, but most of it.
Besides consulting them and checking how much effort you need to put in order to accomplish something towards ocean plastic pollution – and you do need to put on an effort -, you may also use your common sense and take a good look around your place.
Do you have a million plastic bags, for garbage and shopping? A bunch of tupperware containers under the sink? Do you store food and beverages in plastic bottles in your fridge? A load of broken pens and useless things laying around? There you go. Start by these; you’d be surprised (maybe), at how far it all gets.

We know you’re diligent separating your recyclables; we spied on you through the camera of your plastic-clad laptop (just kidding). You even know that, apart from sorting your rejects out, you also make sure you drop each pile in different bins.
Good for you. Just don’t dump it and forget it. Have you seen those spilled garbage bags on the streets, that fell out of sanitation trucks? Don’t blame the underpaid guys and relax, no one will ask you to pick them up or after anybody else.
But do not expect your city recycling companies to have it all covered. Yes, they’re for profit enterprises, but by far much more important than some industries you patronize. So be sure them, and your elected representatives, know you do care about and value their work.

You may have heard that there are now a number of patches of garbage, like the Texas-sized Great Pacific Gyre, floating far from any land. But what about Henderson Island, which certainly may have a least one plastic item you’ve disposed sometime last year. Like it, there are also many others.
You may’ve also heard of the battle to force Coca-Cola to pitch in the collection of millions of water bottles that are dumped in the Grand Canyon every year, right? Well, if no one talks about it, it’s because Coke weaseled it out of its responsibilities. So, the bottles are still there.
Now, the same is happening in the high seas, and plastic (more)
Read Also:
* Last Drops
* Faux Jellyfish
* Beneath the Waves

manufacturers have even more resources to pretend they have no part on it. So it’s up to you and I and a shrimp named Pie to pick up the slack. Or not to buy another water bottle for the rest of our lives. Unless, you’ve got a better idea.

If it’s a trident, that means that, one, nobody will do anything, and we’ll keep producing more plastic, till we choke on it. Secondly, some may start doing something, and the rest will catch on, and we’ll all be better off.  Or hope to goodness that technology will invent a way to do away with the eternal trash.
Now, if you think about odds, you do have a saying in two parts of this equation. And that’s not bad, considering what’s at stake. What you’re doing about it is, indeed, up to you, but it’s measure of your stand in life how much of it depends and revolves around plastic.
If you come to a fork in the road, take it. It had to be the great Yogi Berra to come up with yet an alternate reading of the old saying. On this context, he’s right once again: we must take that fork and turn it into our own way to serve the planet. Or, if you’d prefer, fine, grab it and stab the eye of one of those irresponsible industries.

7 thoughts on “The Big Choke

  1. Norton A.Coll says:

    Hoje é absolutamente evidente que as nações começaram a andar na contramão do recomendado, antes pela ciência, e hoje pelo bom senso mundial. No Brasil estamos na pré história de qualquer movimento pró Planeta Terra.1) A Amazônia tende a se tornar deserto em 40/50 anos no máximo.
    2.A reciclagem nas áreas urbanas (hoje responsáveis por quase 70% da concentração dos brasileiros) não executa um único projeto decente nessa direção. Ou “só pára inglês ver”. Cidades como S.Paulo tem centros de recompostagem que processam menos de 15% do material reciclável. – além do fato que nosso desperdício de alimento é dos maiores do mundo.Quando trabalhei com restaurantes industriais fiz uma pesquisa nos restaurantes e bares que serviam pratos diariamente. A media diaria era de mais de 100 pratos correspondentes de lixo por dia em cada um.
    3.Na indústria automobilística, por força da crise financeira, estão nas ruas veículos cada vez mais velhos,ou seja, os mais poluidores, começando pelo aumento das motocicletas que poluem comprovadamente mais do que os automóveis.
    E ainda tememos uma 3a. Guerra Mundial quando logo teremos seus efeitos sem ninguém puxar o gatilho! NORTON A.COLL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Colltales says:

      Excelente análise. O que é inexplicável é que estudos já indicam que as indústrias que exploram vias alternativas de energia, tipo solar e do vento, já estão se tornando prósperas e rendendo resultados acima das que ainda insistem em subprodutos de petróleo e derivados poluentes. E que maioria apóia reciclagem; o que falta são empreendedores com consciência. Por último, a ironia da guerra ‘sem ninguém puxar o gatilho’ é brilhante. Obrigado, Norton.


  2. Plastics are inextricably tied to the oil industry, and while that industry is allowed to go on polluting the planet, without paying the cost of cleaning up, plastics will be produced cheaply and endlessly till we all choke on them, literally.

    Until the use of oil as a financial weapon is stopped, plastics and other detritus will keep washing up on our shores and killing our wildlife. By manipulating and subsidising the price of oil with things like tax-breaks politically-motivated sanctions and tax deductable fines we pretend that it is cheap. It is not, as your article shows.

    It’s quite obvious we should not all expect to be able to jump into our cars, with all their plastic fittings, just to support the automobile manufacturing, plastic and oil industries, yet that is what most of us are doing. If you take four chairs and arrange them on the road outside your house with four wheels, one leaning against each chair, it won’t be long before an officer of the state will insist you move them. But that’s exactly what the majority of our cars do for most of the day. They take up space they’re not paying the full price for while serving no useful purpose, unless you consider being an unsightly obstacle a purpose. Cars are no more than four or five seats in a box on wheels doing nothing for most of the time. You may have been brainwashed to think otherwise, but our roads cost so much because they’re made wide enough for endless lines of cars to park on. Do you know of any other space you’re allowed to store stuff for so little or, in many areas, even for free? Yes, to me, cars are stuff. If you had to pay the real price for the damage they do to the planet, you wouldn’t be able to afford one. And I’m not going to get into all the wars, death and injury they cause by ones means or another.

    If we can’t lift the blinkers from our eyes and change the way we perceive problems we will never get to grips with them. I could go on, and on, and on, and on, and on, but that would make this an article. By the way, I chose not to drive many years ago and have stuck to that. The fewer people driving, the better, cheaper and more efficient public transport will become. Small steps make us feel good and are definitely needed, but we all have a duty to understand, we now need massive steps at international level to effect real change and save the planet. Plastics are just one piece in a dystopian jigsaw.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Colltales says:

      You’re so right, of course. But it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by the interconnection of all these serious challenges we face. So we try to pull them apart, hoping to tackle each in the best way we can, even if risking to wind up doing too little too late. I too don’t own a car, or drive for that matter, but that’s easy in NYC. Most city governments reward handsomely car ownership and build all sorts of incentives for it. In some places, people simply have no choice but to have one. Nevertheless, we try, Brian. Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I feel as though you and I spend a lot of time talking to the converted. And that’s usually just you and me ping-ponging back with each other. Maybe, there’s a couple more out there. Thank God for Jeremy Corbyn.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dina says:

    Choking news over and over again and we MUST do something. Now.
    Thanks for this eyeopener and all the links!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.