Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why Plastic Litter Must Stop

Recent storms brought an increase in driftwood to Wellfleet’s beaches. From one week to the next, we were able to observe how sand would bury weathered branches and boards, at the foot of the dune, above.

Flotsam refers to cargo on a ship, washed or blown overboard during a storm at sea.

Jetsam refers to stuff that is deliberately thrown overboard, for instance to help save a ship from sinking.

I’m not sure what the correct term is for plastic objects that end up in the ocean. 25% of this trash is debris from ships, but 75% of it comes from land-based sources, ie. you and me. Last week Beth Terry, at Fake Plastic Fish, posted a David Letterman interview with Captain Charles Moore, the seaman who discovered the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” The points raised are chilling. Do take a listen and spread the word.

When Michelle Obama is done with obesity, I think she needs to bring back the litterbug campaign of the Sixties, when Smokey the Bear was recruited to remind litterbugs that “every little bit hurts” because this plastic litter is being consumed by fish, and ultimately by humans, when they eat fish ….