Plastic is taking over

I guess this is old news, but somehow it completely passed me by. 40% of the world’s oceans is covered in garbage – primarily plastic – concentrated in 5 enormous gyres, or vortexes. I can’t even wrap my head around the staggering amount of garbage this represents. There’s a stretch of land between Casablanca and Rabat, Morocco, that is just covered in plastic bags as far as the eye can see. It’s the place where Plastic Bags Go To Die, or so I thought. Apparently, it’s just a stopover on their way to join their brethren in the oceans.

Plastic bags are absolutely everywhere. In both Morocco and Costa Rica, they’re stacked high in shops, and it’s not uncommon to walk out of a store with $10 worth of groceries in 3 or 4 bags. Even though we bring bags with us, the baggers always seem to be trying to give us more bags, as if to make us feel we got our money’s worth. In the US, the “paper or plastic?” debate was never really resolved. Even our local natural foods store offerred both – though at least they were usually reused.

I don’t know. It’s not as if I have some amazing insights to share on this subject, but I just couldn’t bear to ignore it. Here’s more info, if you’re interested.

The Plastic Sea
Our Oceans Are Turning Into Plastic… Are We?
North Pacific Subtropical Gyre Garbage Map

Topics: Costa Rica, Morocco, Nature

2 thoughts on “Plastic is taking over

  1. Geraldine says:

    It’s all about getting people to realise that they can and do make a difference, one choice at a time. I am encouraged that where we are in BC, so many people bring their own bags to stores or don’t bother getting a bag at all. It all counts.

  2. Marisa says:

    When I first moved to France I was so impressed by how few plastic bags there were at grocery stores, etc. If they did have them, you had to pay for them, so everyone was encouraged to reuse bags or bring their own basket. But, in less than three years, now almost all the grocery stores offer plastic for free 🙁 Fortunately, as you’ve probably noticed, most people here still carry a basket or cloth bag, but I fear it will soon be as bad as most other places. Maybe people should have more access to the information/links you presented


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