Smashing a World Record to Smash Plastic Pollution

Sea Turtle’s Plastic Pollution site tells a disturbing story:

In 2009, marine biologists with Disney’s Animal Programs in Melbourne Beach, Florida, discovered a green sea turtle that was having trouble digesting food. They found that a piece of plastic had lodged in the turtle’s gastrointestinal tract. When biologists removed the obstruction, the turtle defecated 74 foreign objects in the subsequent month. Among the items documented were four types of latex balloons, five different types of string, nine different types of soft plastic, four different types of hard plastic, a piece of carpet-like material, and two tar balls to boot.

Plastic litter is everywhere. A murky soup of small bits of plastic follows ocean currents. Every year it kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals. Birds feed bottle caps to their chicks. Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish. Fish swallow the toxic bits.

It is easy for those of us in relatively litter-free cities to ignore what is happening to our oceans, but sailors see how our trash is poisoning the seas. One of them, Australia’s Ian ‘Thommo’ Thomson, decided to do something about it. After shaving 26 days off the previous record for solo circumnavigation of that huge country, Thomson turned part of his passion for the ocean into an effort to save it.

Thomson founded Save Our Seas International (SOS) in 2010 to “create Awareness of the issues, promote Alternatives, and take Action.” Until the ocean is plastic-free, SOS will keep campaigning.

They are lobbying to make Australia free of single-use plastic bags by 2017. Thomson uses his high profile, profits from SOS’s Eco Store and donations to travel the country speaking to schools.

Having lost his record to Bruce Arms, who shaved another four days off the 42-day record, Thomson has announced he is looking for sponsors for another run on the Around Australia World Record. Once again he will be sailing to raise awareness about the horrific cost of plastics to our environment.

Give the campaign to ban single-use plastic bags in Australia a boost by signing the petition below.

Related Care2 Stories

Plastic Pollution, Not Marine Debris!

How Bad for the Environment Can Throwing Away One Plastic Bag Be?

Update on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (Yes, It’s Still There)

Photo from Kevin Krejci via Flickr Creative Commons

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60 comments

Sue Griffiths
Sue Griffiths4 years ago

@ AD. says What do we pick up the dog poop with if single use plastic bags are banned?
I don't use any plastic carrier bags for shopping, and as for the dog poop, I use the plastic bread bags. I assume the local authority incinerate them. Not perfect, but what else can we do? I wonder how many people throw away empty bread bags?

David N.
David N.4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Virginia B.
Virginia B.4 years ago

The only solutions to this global problem are education, education, education and far stricter regulations. The only people overjoyed with our human habit of just littering everywhere we go and live are archeologists! We've been surrounding ourselves with our own filth since time immemorial. Without some drastic measures, we'll drown ourselves and the whole planet in our garbage!

Unnikrishnan Sasi

Such a sad state

A DK
A Kennedy4 years ago

Question, what do we pick up dog poop with if all single use plastic bags are banned????

Carol C.
Carol Cox4 years ago

there are just so many things i can crochet or knit with Plarn ( yarn made from plastic bags) and bringing them back to the supermarket for re-use is also limited...i can't really live without my bags, however they DO need to be reformulated... there are biodegradable bags, my market uses them...after a few months, they disintegrate... and there are some that dissolve in water... cloth bags are an excellent substitute when shopping and i use them as well, even at the Mall. but we do need to be careful where we discard them. i pick them up when i find them blowing around the parking lot and discard them. petiton signed and forwarded.

Jim Gayden
Jim Gayden4 years ago

One of the many reasons we are still dependant on oil. People still glorify oil people, when they are actually the biggest threat to everyone's existence. Pure insanity.

Jim Gayden
Jim Gayden4 years ago

People voted no? WOW!!!!! It's so nice that some people see the world as a garbage dump!!! I certainly hope that I don't ever meet any of those who voted no! Your obvious arrogance will be a sure sign that it is you!

Tolga U.
Tolga U.4 years ago

yes, who voted no??? :(( stupids...

Penny C.
Penny C.4 years ago

This is so awful.signed petition.