“It is a curious situation that the sea, from where life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist: the threat is rather to life itself.” – Rachel Carson
On June 8, World Oceans Day was observed. It is a day designated by the United Nations to celebrate the role of the oceans in our everyday life, and to inspire action to protect the ocean and sustainably use marine resources.
The theme, “Innovations for a healthy ocean”, appeals to all persons to put their minds to solutions to restore the health of our oceans.
Modern conveniences — a straw with our iced coffee, a plastic bag to carry our takeout, a wrapper on a candy bar — taken individually, each seems harmless, and are so ubiquitous and so quickly thrown out that they hardly register in our minds; but, single-use plastics come with a steep environmental price, one that we’ll be paying off for millennia.
Our plastic addiction is having a devastating impact on our oceans, our wildlife, and our health. The results of today’s single-use, throw-away plastic culture can be seen on sea shores and in oceans everywhere. Turtles choke on plastic bags because they mistake them for jellyfish. Dolphins drown when they become entangled in discarded plastic packaging. Albatrosses somehow find floating rice bags in the furthest reaches of the South Atlantic, far from human populations, and unwittingly feed them to their hungry chicks. Millions of single-use bottles jostle their way around the oceans, carried on the currents even to the remotest and most fragile Pacific atolls. Plastic waste is increasingly polluting the oceans.
This year, as we celebrate World Oceans Day, let us be aware of the dangers of single-use plastics, and make an effort to reduce our use of them. We should look to buy locally and sustainably produced food whenever possible. You may not feel that you have an impact, but our collective efforts as consumers can drive the industry to find increasingly better solutions.
We can also contribute to the efforts by disposing of our waste in the