THE PROBLEM WITH PLASTICS AND HOW TO REDUCE YOUR CONSUMPTION
• When plastics breakdown, they just break into smaller pieces known asmicro plastics
• Type of debris most commonly found in the “garbage patches ”
• Fellow litter pickers often call them “ chokables ” because they are small enough for our wildlife to choke on.
• Various sources overlooked such as plastics in hygiene products etc.
Why All the plastics?
•Plastics are widely used for their cheap cost and durability
• Plastic is used in so many ways in our everyday life; we are creatures of convenience
• Plastics are buoyant, making them easy to drift far away with the currents
• Plastics take a very long time to breakdown, especially in the ocean
Yes, plastic has revolutionized medical capabilities among so many other technological advances with endless applications and that is not being disputed. However, it has also led to a convenience oriented consumer society in love with disposables. Plastic production is increasing on a global scale with no plateau in sight. While some of these items are recycled or repurposed, the majority goes to a landfill and the rest makes it’s way into the environment.
What can you do?
This problem is caused by people and this problem can be solved by people! US! There are multiple ways YOU can help out—all the way from donating money to joining cleanup organizations to getting out there yourself and just picking up a piece of trash. In the end, we all need to take a long,hard look at how we live our daily lives and if that is the kind of lifestyle we want to pass on to the future generations. It is time to take a personal responsibility for the future of all species—including our own— on this tragically beautiful earth.
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Where does marine debris come from?
• Land based sources
– Trash through the sewers and storm drains
– Beach goers
• Ocean/waterway sources
– Cruises hips
– Private boats
– Cargo boats
BOTTOM LINE: All of it comes from people !
Where does marne debris go?
• Transported long distances by the moving currents to some of the most remote places
• Debris can accumulate bio foulers,eventually sinking to the ocean floor
• Purged onto shorelines from storms and other natural disasters
• Accumulate at gyres
– N&S Atlantic, N&S Pacific, Indian
BOTTOM LINE: It never goes away!
REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
LOCAL SINGLE STREAM RECYCLING
Managing our waste is extremely important! We are lucky because we have recycling programs in most places here in the US, especially lucky here in Brevard county because we have streamlined recycling programs,meaning we no longer have to separate the paper, plastics, and aluminum, which therefore drastically increases the percentage of people whom actually recycle their waste.
*Look up your recycling rules for your area--it is different EVERYWHERE!
REDUCE YOUR PLASTIC FOOTPRINT
What is your plastic footprint?
• Measurement of an individual’s plastic use over a designated period of time
Write down the amount of plastic you use everyday for seven days
You will be surprised at how much plastic we use everyday
SINGLE USE PLASTICS ALTERNATIVES
MCB WORD SCRAMBLER
MCB WORD SEARCH
Look for the marine debris related words- up, down, diagonal
2. Where does trash come from?
3. Cheap material that most trash is made from.
7. An animal that lays eggs on the beach.
9. How does trash get from land to the water?
1. Type of fishing line that entangles wildlife.
4. Another name for trash.
5. Where does the trash end up?
6. Animals that rest in flocks on the beach.
8. What type of trash looks like a jellyfish?
This activity is super fun for kids of all ages.
It involves making homemade"gak" as a "stomach medium" of whatever wildlife species you would (e.g. sea turtles, shorebirds).
TWO 4 oz. bottles of liquid glue (e.g. Elmer’s)
– 1 tsp. Borax (all natural laundry detergent)
– Food Coloring
Pour both bottles of glue into the bowl and then fill bottles with warm water, put on top, shake, empty into bowl.
Add food coloring (depending on what color you want) We made it light pink to simulate the inside of a stomach.
Add 1/2 cup warm water to your cup.
Add 1 tsp. borax to the water and mix until borax dissolves.
Pour borax solution into glue bowl.
The mixture will become string but keep mixing it by using your hands. After a few minutes it will become a gelatinous consistency.
I made a few batches and then placed small pieces of marine debris* along with fake squid, crab etc.into the bowls.
Kids come up one by one and feel through the mixture to find something. They pull out one item and then they are asked “Should they eat it or should they not?”
The marine debris items they SHOULD NOT EAT and the fake prey (crabs, squid etc) SHOULD BE EATEN!
*For marine debris items we used small pieces of rope, bottle caps, straws, and other plasticl lids.