The first enforcement effort in the US to halt the spillage of pre-production plastic, or “nurdles” into the waters of California was recently launched by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, State Water Resources Control Board, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
A government-ordered environmental cleanup has since begun in San Leandro, where thousands of fish and birds are believed to have perished or fallen ill after mistaking the tiny bits of plastic for food.
The UN estimates that 6.4 million metric tons of plastic debris are polluting the world’s oceans, spread across five major gyres, or swirling regions of plastic soup. As Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for the EPA, explained, plastic can take between 500 to 1,000 years to break down completely, with tragic effects meanwhile, such as albatross and other sea bird chick deaths caused by their parents mistakenly feeding them bits of plastic.
Captain Charles Moore, who co-authored “Plastic Ocean,” a new book about his discovery of the gyre known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch, warned against the proliferation of plastic, saying, “It’s not hard to make the connection that fish are getting tangled up in this, that we’re turning the beaches into plastic sand;... that there are deleterious consequences of our trash.”
Our thankfulness, Captain Moore, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, State Water Resources Control Board, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Charles Moore, and environmentalists working to raise awareness and reduce plastic waste.
Let us strive to protect Earth’s waters and our precious animal co-inhabitants by leading more eco-conscious lifestyles. During a January 2011 videoconference with Supreme Master Television staff in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai responded to a question about the harmful effects of ocean litter, also addressing our responsibility to be kind stewards of the ecosphere.
Sources: UPI, EPA, Algalita, CNN