November 16, 2011

Concerns raised as plastic bags litter the oceans

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.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It’s very, very harmful. It’s very harmful. If we damage the ocean, we threaten our own lives, because we know that every second breath of our existence came from the ocean.

And physically speaking, the ocean is very important to our wellbeing,you know, supplying oxygen, neutralizing pollution, supporting marine lives, which in turn, also supporting our lives, because the animals support our lives as well. You know that. So, damaging the ocean is almost like damaging ourselves.

It’s just the effect that we don’t always see immediately. That’s why people do not stop doing what they do, and the oceans suffer greatly right now.

I hope they do know and practice and try to stop the destruction of the planet and ecosystems on this planet, including marine lives and the ocean life.

Very simple: do good, be good, be veg.

Sources: UPI, EPA, Algalita, CNN

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