Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 95 - Feb. 6, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
2.5 pounds collected
393.4 total pounds
Santa Monica has banned styrofoam. I have mentioned this before. Yet all the time I find the stuff, especially after it has rained. Why? Because we are the end of the pipe here in S.M. meaning that our adjacent city, Los Angeles, has not banned styrofoam so therefor when it rains all of their polystyrene washes into the bay, some of it making its way back onto our beach.

I think the Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment does a great job, but we need action from all the local communities in our watershed that feed into the Santa Monica Bay.
My view of the beach after our two days of torrential rain.

"Marine Debris", taking this term to task, like the Plastic Pollution Coalition calls for, I'd like to ask you a few questions.

A - Do you think of plastic, styrofoam, tampon applicators and used condoms as debris?


B - Do you think of leaves, bits of bark, floating twigs and other natural detritus as debris?

I thought you would say B.

So, why do we call it "Marine Debris" when over 80 percent of the stuff floating in the ocean is plastic?????
It doesn't sound so bad when you say debris, does it? Which is a huge disservice to the monumental plague of plastic pollution entering our oceans.

But, like the folks at 5 Gyres say - Plastic Marine Pollution gets a whole lot closer.

I love these ice cream bars! The over sugared-strawberry-insides with all those nuts. Yum. But I don't love seeing the wrapper here.
Plastic Orange Bottle Cap - "debris"?
I want to get a campaign going to make Starbucks recycle their damn beverage packaging. Well, here's the thing. Recycling is an option, but not a very strong one. I couldn't have put it better than Manuel Maqueda, Co-founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition and The BlooSee:

"How come producers are not resposible for the end life of their products?

Also, do we recycle? Or do we put things in bins?

Do you know what happens to your recyclables? Who can you ask? Who is accountable?

What we have now is: out of sight, out of mind + hope for the best = back to the mall to consume some more. A matrix.

Without producer responsibility, transparency and accountability, the current "recycling system" is a greenwashing machine designed to generate more and more waste."

The following is a quotation from a native of Kenya, who was involved in his country’s efforts to save the native wildlife from extinction:

  • You only save what you love

  • You only love what you understand

  • You only understand what you are taught

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