Sunsets on the beach in Bali are stunning, so many beautiful shades of red, orange, yellow and purple covering the sky and merging into the ocean. This is what you see if you look at the sky and water, and it’s amazing. However, if you look instead at the beach, the view is no longer as magnificent. What you see instead is lots and lots of plastic and trash brought to shore by the waves. The picture on the right is one that I took during one of my sunset walks on the beach in Kuta, Bali.
This is what I’ve seen in Bali, however the problem is so much bigger. While watching an episode of the Blue Planet, I learned of the disastrous impact our plastic waste can have on the marine life. How sad is it when someone close to you dies? Similarly, this documentary shows a mother whale carry its dead calf with her through the water for days after it had died. How did it die? We did it! It’s likely that the whale’s milk became contaminated from the micro-plastics-polluted environment and, thus, toxic for the calf. This is just one of the many examples of how our actions have a much bigger impact than we realize.
Here are a few details summarising the plastic pollution issue as of of 2018, information gathered from 4Ocean:
Since the invention of plastic, we managed to produce about 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic marine debris, creating an enormous problem to the marine life.
A plastic water bottle takes about 450 years to decompose. And decomposing here doesn’t mean full decomposition, they turn into micro-plastics, which are very harmful and toxic to the marine life. Eventually, this also affects the human health by eating the toxic-filled fish that ingested the micro-plastics. Do we really need all those plastic water bottles? How about trying a reusable bottle to avoid bringing more plastic into the environment than we already have?
160,000 plastic bags are produced and used every second! What happens to them afterwards? Millions of them end up in the ocean polluting the water, making it a toxic environment for the marine life! Here’s where you can find a large quantity of plastics: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch and other similar places in the oceans.
All this plastic will not go away on its own. We created this mess and we’re the ones who have to deal with it. What can we do about it? Luckily there are several things we can do to improve the state of our oceans, and one of them is to help 4Ocean remove the marine debris from the oceans and the beaches. 4Ocean is an organization whose work I admire very much. They collect the trash from the oceans and coastlines to make the oceans safer for the large variety of aquatic life forms populating them. By buying a bracelet from 4Ocean, made from recyclable material (featured on the top image), you pay for the removal of one pound of trash from the ocean.
I hope you will join me in helping 4Ocean in creating a cleaner ocean and a cleaner and safer planet. We need to take action, otherwise our grandchildren will not be able to enjoy the beauties of the world we grew up in. We have to think of what kind of legacy do we want to leave for them. What do we want the home-planet of our future generations to look like?
I chose to spend my birthday writing this post because I love our planet and there’s nothing I’d like more for my birthday than to know that we are doing something to keep our planet safe. As a birthday present for me, can you please help with this cause and help remove some of the trash from the water? Or at least, please think twice before buying all those items made of plastics and please try to reduce the plastic waste.
Thank you for your help in protecting our oceans, the marine life and our planet! Let's work together to create a better world!