Clean up the Oceans

A month ago I posted about Picking Up Plastic, encouraging everyone to clean up the rubbish they see before it finds its way in to the oceans, where it become deadly. Here is a photo of some we have collected in the last two days, on the same beach where we found all the pumice washed ashore.

found on the beach

found on the beach

The remains of coloured plastic balloons are ever present, perhaps that might encourage you to think twice before buying a helium filled balloon that will float off out of sight and land in the ocean. Fisherman’s plastic bait packets are common, as is plastic rope and fishing line. This pile includes a flipper and a boot, a tennis ball and a bait basket. Just when I feel that we are helpless to clean up the oceans a good news story comes along. A brilliant young Dutchman called Boyan Slat has an idea that is undergoing a feasibility study for a relatively simple and economic way to remove plastic from the ocean gyres. He anticipates that we could clean up the plastic in only five years! So if you care about the ocean and the food chain that ends up with us, have a look at his 11 minuteย TEDx talk, or check out his website. You may be able to help with funding the study and make it a reality.

Meanwhile do keep on picking up what you can, and blog about it to raise awareness around the world!


14 thoughts on “Clean up the Oceans

  1. Thanks so much for this wise blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

    We recycle most all of our plastic. At Walmart, we use the reusable cloth bags instead of the disposable ones. It’s unbelievable how, here in the States, people tend to throw plastic bags out to blow around in the fields and country areas. Floating bags and plastic junk is spewed everywhere! People need to be re-educated for sure!

  2. It’s inspiring to ‘meet’ people who think like this! What a brilliant idea. I’m so glad you discovered him on Ted and postedvhistalk for us – optimism is a nice way to start the day ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Thank you for the advice and reminders. I never thought about the balloons we release in the air. Thank you for raising my awareness in this particular area.


    • sad that something so pretty can cause pollution … if only they popped and disappeared like bubbles! we went to a tragic funeral for a young woman where masses of balloons were released to signify her spirit flying away free … but some of us thought of the damage those balloons could do … we do need to become more aware as you say francine ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. My wife and i along with our 3 year old son went for a walk in a local park this weekend. We came across a stream that was littered with trash. As we were far away from any area where we thought there could be so much trash we tried to figure out where it came from. Following the stream a few hundred yards, we came to the edge of the park to a large pile of snow in the back of a large parking lot. Seems as though any trash that had been picked up by the snow plow had then been mixed into the snow pile. As we enter Spring here, the snow pile is melting, and some of the lighter trash such a plastics will float down the stream, and then into a larger river, and then into the ocean.

    We filled up a bag with larger pieces of trash, but it was really a drop in the bucket of the mess on that small stream. So be careful with that trash people!

    • great story peter … even though we dont have snow here i can imagine the scene … thanks for sharing so that others can learn form your example … and spread the idea that we can pick up after others who might never ‘get it’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. It’s a very good idea but what I don’t understand is what will happen to all the plastic when it’s collected up? He talks about selling it. How the heck’s that going to help? It’ll just keep it in the system. To my way of thinking we need – as well as his ideas – to stop manufacturing stuff in plastic and gradually phase it out.

    • thanks martin, the problem is huge, but if each individual becomes plastic aware, reduces their use of plastic, picks up discarded plastic, we might make a difference ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. It comes down to consumerism and personal responsibility yet again. For individuals the less we consume, the less there is to find its way to waterways both on a personal level and demand from Big Co.’s. It’s annoying that so much rubbish seems to come from marine activites when those users surely have a vested interest.

    • so true elladee, i remember in the 70’s there was a movement to take the plastic packaging off supermarket products and leave it behind for the store to discard … of course that failed because people voted for convenience over the environment … fishermen are often the worst culprits, some seem to go fishing to drink beer and have a good time killing something with their mates … they don’t care about the rubbish they leave behind

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