Believe it or not, more than eight million tonnes of plastic go into the oceans every year. As a result, experts estimate there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by the year 2050. If these statistics don’t give you goosebumps, then the following photos — taken by Roatán-based photographer Caroline Power — certainly will.
Recently, Power uploaded photos taken near the Caribbean island belonging to Honduras. Each reveals what she calls a “sea of plastic and Styrofoam.” As The Independent reports, the island’s blue seas are chocked by a tide of plastic trash. Among the rubbish is plastic cutlery, bags, bottles, and wrapping floating among the seaweed.
One image — perhaps the most staggering — shows the sun being blocked by the immense amount of pollution dumped into the ocean.
According to the Blue Planet Society, an advocacy group which campaigns to save Earth’s oceans, the plastic likely originated from the Montagua river in Guatemala. Recent footage shows plastic pollution and other discarded waste being carried out of its mouth to sea.
All in all, Roatan is just 12 miles long and three miles wide. Power, who lives on the island, shared the pictures to social media to raise awareness about the extent of the problem. Her hope is that the depressing photos encourage people to “think carefully about their plastic use” and adopt sustainable habits.
She wrote, “Think about your daily lives. How did you take your food to go last time you ate out? How was your last street food served? Chances are it was Styrofoam and served with a plastic fork and then put in a plastic bag.
Do you still use plastic garbage bags? Plastic soda bottles? Zip lock bags? Plastic wrap on your food? Do you buy toilet paper that comes wrapped in plastic instead of paper? Do you put your fruit and vegetables in produce bags at the grocery?”
Power then challenged people to hold onto their garbage for a week, adding that most people would be “disgusted” at how much plastic they use and discard.
10 Facts About Plastic Pollution
Still not convinced that humans need to adopt sustainable habits? Well then, you’ll want to review the following 10 facts about plastic pollution that will surely change your mind.
1) In Los Angeles, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments—like grocery bags, straws, and soda bottles—are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day.
2) Humans have produced more plastic in the last ten years than we have produced during the whole of the last century.
3) 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.
4) We currently recover only five percent of the plastics we produce.
5) The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.
6) Plastic makes up around 10 percent of the total waste that is generated.
7) The production of plastic uses around eight percent of the world’s oil production (bioplastics are not a good solution as they require food source crops).
8) Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one-liter bottle could end up on every mile of beach throughout the world.
9) It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
10) Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences in the oceans making up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces. 80 percent of pollution enters the ocean from the land.
The environment, wildlife, and future generations need YOU to act to create a greener, cleaner world now. Will you heed the call?
Via The Independent