Plastics create problems for the world’s oceans

Plastics pose plenty of problems

It is disappointing to hear that councillors in a seaside town (Parksville) aren’t aware of the problem which plastics create for the world’s oceans. Plastics are derived from natural gas and refined crude oil, and are more dependent on fossil fuels than is the transport industry.

“Marine plastics are a greater threat to life on Earth than is climate change.”

Charles Moore, mariner, scientist, author of Plastic Ocean, 2011

More than 100 billion plastic bags pass through the hands of North American consumers every year. Laid end-to-end they would circle the equator 1,330 times. They end up in the stomachs of birds and animals, including B.C. bears and killer whales.

Even if “used twice”, plastic bags choke landfills and last literally forever. Non-biodegradable, they break down into flakes that litter beaches and microscopic particles absorbed by living cells.

It is also a step backwards to use pour-in-place plasticized rubber in playgrounds such as the Parksville Civic Park (even though kids play safely on natural sand on the beach right beside it!), and artificial turf instead of living photosynthesing oxygen-producing grass.

Orca Awareness Month is celebrated every June, and the local Orca Month team encourages citizens to make their consumer habits nature-friendly, and to elect representatives who understand the hazards of plastic.

Orca Month will be hosting events celebrating B.C.’s killer whales and other wildlife and the marine environment during June 2019, and is looking for more participants and volunteers.

Sandra Julian

Qualicum Beach

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