For much of the world it is really hard to grasp just how bad the trash build up is in the ocean.
There are trash swirls made almost entirely of plastic the size of small countries. These floating debris fields reach out beyond site.
In Indonesia where some of the trash washes up on shore, surfing has been made all but impossible at some times of the year. While I was there I tried to surf during one of these trash days and it literally could not be done. The trash was so thick, I had to wait for small alley ways to open up between trash piles to reach the waves.
Even after making it out to the surf, the plastic crusted waves were too thick to ride. The leash of the surfboard would constantly snag and rip you off of your board.
After a few attempts I made my way back to the beach and asked a few locals if this is a rare occurrence or common.
He said it gets worse each season. I could see the look of disgust in his eyes. It’s a difficult situation because there is no single source to blame and the plastic industry made it very difficult to live without their products.
It takes a group effort on all sides.
Science and engineering will need to develop better alternatives to slow eroding products as well as find better means to collect and break down what is already out there.
Businesses will need to find ways to make new products and efforts financially viable. It’s not just a matter of ethics. They need to seek out and demonstrate how sustainable practices make financial sense.
Consumers need to do their part to reduce consumption/waste, as well as push for better products. Consumer buying power is the gas to the fire that will either turn around our oceans, or deteriorate them further into oblivion.