Water Guide: Garbage in the Ocean

Written by: Anna Meehan

Not only does Walnut Creek Saves promote water and energy savings in your homes, but we spread awareness about water and energy saving measures used around the world. We help residents learn about fossil fuels, recycling, and pollution. In today’s day and age, Americans create, on average, four and a half pounds of garbage each day. Recycling and waste management companies rid our homes of this waste, but for all garbage that doesn’t end up in landfills, they end up as litter on roads and in the ocean.

In a recent study by the New York Times, researchers found giant patches of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to California equaling a mass of at least 87,000 tons! This huge mass of trash is known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. The patch is creating many problems for sea life and coastal communities in Hawaii and in states lining the Pacific. The garbage mainly consists of plastics (99.9% of garbage was plastic) such as straws, utensils, and bottles that were littered from boats and taken to sea from pollution along the coast. The garbage patch is “four to 16 times bigger than previously thought, occupying an area roughly four times the size of California and comprising an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of rubbish” (New York Times). The rubbish is harming the wildlife as fish, dolphins, whales, turtles and more creatures accidentally consume the substances. The consumption causes intestinal problems for the mammals and damages the ecosystem immensely.

What can we do? Well, to start all of us can be more aware of pollution in our neighborhoods. Stop littering and instead, properly dispose of trash and recycling items to be taken to waste plants. In addition, if we work to use reusable items such as Tupperware and lunch boxes instead of single-use plastics we can decrease the amount of trash produced each day.

For more information about Walnut Creek Saves, contact us at walnutcreek@wattzon.com.

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