How often would you estimate that you use plastic? This includes disposable water bottles, plastic utensils, and even eating foods preserved in plastic containers.
According to averages, consumers use some form of plastic every day, greatly due to the substance’s convenience and lack of expense, but few realize the extent of devastation that this material is costing our planet.
The fact that plastic is bad for earth is in no way news to the average plastic-user, but perhaps the enormous damage it is causing is more hidden. In order to clarify this, abundant images have been captured off the Honduran island of Roatan by photographer Caroline Power revealing the horrific catastrophe plastic has caused earth. (1, 2, 3)
5 Miles Of Plastic Choking Wildlife In The Caribbean
While once considered a heavenly, mystical coastline, the shores of Roatan are now utterly choked with a sea of plastic waste and tides of disposable substances. Power, who lives on Roatan, captured photos of a once idyllic island that has been compared to an utter paradise, now revealing a rolling monster of plastic devastating the glorious waters. In a relatively short period of time, these beautiful Roatan waters have gone from paradisaical to a complete trash pit, clogged with bags, bottles, cutlery, packaging material, and more. The waters are congested and full to the brim with pollution. (1, 2, 3)
Power, along with a team of divers, floated through the soggy trash for “nearly five miles,” and noted that in a specific area, the “sea of plastic” was a wretched two miles wide. Power and the dive team discovered a wide variety of plastic items in the waters, anything from broken footballs to soda bottles, toothbrushes, televisions, and even shoes. It is believed that the hordes of plastic originated from the mouth of the Guatemala Montagua River since it has been known to carry waves of trash from Guatemala into the ocean, though Honduras is also thought to be to blame.
According to Power, however, no single country can be to blame for this unsightly result. Power believes that if the average person where simply taught to live more sustainably and not discard as many products that could be reused, sold, recycled, or refurbished, then the problem would be much smaller. (1, 2)
Hope For Our Oceans
Seeing this much waste in our oceans, contaminating previously beautiful beaches, coastlines, and reefs can be pretty depressing, but it’s important to pay attention to the positive things people are doing to help combat the negative. While many countries are still failing to join any clean up mission or are improperly following many waste protocols, there are countries and companies out there working hard to clean our land and oceans of pollution.
The Ocean Cleanup, for instance, was founded in 2013 by a dutch inventor, Boyan Slat, when he was only 18. Slat began The Ocean Cleanup in Delft, Netherlands, hoping to make a difference in the world by ridding our oceans of plastic. Now, The Ocean Cleanup consists of more than 80 team members, made up of engineers, researchers, scientists, and computational modelers working every day to help rid the world’s oceans of trashes and plastic.
According to their website, “The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization, developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. By utilizing the ocean currents to our advantage, our passive drifting systems are estimated to clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years’ time.” (4)
Even though there is a ton of waste to be handled and many problems to be solved, it’s important to put effort into solving them and not accept defeat or simply be angered by devastating trash dumps.
Residents of Roatan, a minuscule island nothing bigger than 12 miles long by 3 miles wide, can only look at the massive job of cleaning their island with the understanding of its incredible difficulty and approach it dutifully. Their coastlines have been swallowed by trash, choking wildlife, and while this is devastating, action must be taken in order to preserve their paradise. Power captured her collection of photos in an effort to raise awareness of the issue surrounding global plastic waste, urging people everywhere to think before using disposable items and also before throwing them out. What can you do to help lower this kind of global waste? (1, 2)