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Plastic on Beaches

Updated on November 29, 2014

The Filthiest People Alive

Modern humans are the filthiest people of all time. We junk everything including the environment on which we and all other life depends. Look at the mess we create.

While most of us would be ashamed if our houses were in this state we seem to have no problems with the pollution we put into the homes of animals and ocean life. But it is our home too and pollution is killing us as well as all other life forms. It does not take much imagination to understand just what plastic is doing to the world, and that is only one of the poisons.

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A Beach Near You

Oil on Beach
Oil on Beach

Oil Pollution

They all rushed to clean it up

When oil leaks into the oceans everyone is appalled. People rush to clean it up and major spills, like that recently in the Gulf of Mexico, demanded huge compensation payouts for the cleaning and restoration of coastal beaches and fisheries.

But nothing it seems is being done about plastic spills in the oceans or on beaches. When plastic eventually breaks down it just becomes smaller and is eaten by animals

So why did this oil leak cause such an outrage? Was it because Americans were affected? Was it because crude oil stinks and is gluey on the skin? Was it because it is an irritant to lungs and other body organs? Was it because of the effect on birds and fish, that was so visible as the oil soaked and suffocated the poor creatures washed ashore? Was it because businesses around the coast lost money from tourists and saw a way to be compensated?

There are probably a million questions to be asked about this and possibly even more answers but the facts are that the mess was cleaned up and in record time. BP paid out billions and now other companies are being brought to account as well. All well and good for the environment, so you might think. And you are right - it had to be cleaned up and fast.

But the oil that comes into the oceans as plastic stays and only a few really care. Few are out there crying foul! How much are governments spending to clean it up or to stop it from happening? The United Nations is completely silent on the issue. We are going to pay the price when the oceans are dead, the marine life is gone, and the birds and fish are wiped out. We are going to pay the price as the land suffers from the loss of these things and food production declines to a point where probably 6 out of 7 people will starve to death or die from pollutants. Time is running out!

We are dicing with death because plastic is far worse than any visible oil spill. Crude oil is a natural substance that nature can and does deal with, but plastic is killing us. Do you even know about the problems associated with it?

It is a vile, hideous substance that manufacturers embrace, that stores promote, that people buy and use as a miracle substance that is so convenient in this THROW AWAY SOCIETY.

Oil Pollution in Florida

Baby Fed From Plastic Bottle
Baby Fed From Plastic Bottle

Plastic is Oil

Many fail to realise that plastic is made from oil. That is why it floats. But the oil in plastic has been changed by chemicals and heated into something that nature cannot deal with. It has been hardened and is an unrecognisable pollutant which marine and bird life are eating as food.

But they are starving to death because it is indigestible. Mothers are feeding it to their young and they die. It is also carcinogenic.

The onset of plastic related cancers and other diseases should be a warning that food wrapped in plastic causes anything from breast cancer to leukemia, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, brain cancer, and cancer of just about any other part of the body. Mothers who ingest products contaminated by plastic while pregnant can obviously cause babies to be born with cancer, as they are.

A friend of mine had a granddaughter born with a massive growth on her forehead. She lived less than 3 weeks to the devastation of everyone. This is something we see more of now and it coule be related to what the mother ate during pregnancy. But newborn babies are also fed from plastic bottles, are soon encouraged to drink juice and cordial from plastic containers, and are fed copious amounts of soft drink from them as well.

Are we that handicapped by industry that we can't force change and free ourselves of the bondage that has gripped us all?

We take cheese slices from plastic, sauce is in plastic, meat is packed in plastic, fruit and vegetables are carried in plastic, milk is in plastic, take away food is in plastic, clothing is wrapped in plastic, household goods come wrapped in plastic, garbage bins are plastic, computers are plastic, even cars are being made with plastic parts. We are locked into a catastrophy, therefore, from which we may not escape.

Should we Stop Buying Plastic Goods

Or just ignore the consequences and go on with our iives

Stop buying anything packed in plastic

Stop buying anything packed in plastic

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    • SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Most plastic is trash to begin with. If you must buy it, then recycle it.

    • Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Let's get rid of the plastic! I've seen what it does to the beaches of Padre Island National Seashore. Horrible mess!

    • James Jordan 6 years ago from Burbank, CA

      I try to not buy plastic stuff and when I do (laundry detergent food packaging) I make sure it goes in the recycle bid. We need to start to think about this and work towards not making such a negative impact on our planet

    • ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Yes, avoiding buying plastic packaging is a great place to start but can require a 'sea change' in lifestyle.

    • MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      I do my best to not buy them. Little of value comes in plastic anyway.

      However, I do know that they also actually do things with the plastic that is recycled, in fact, I am able to keep my heat down because of the comfortable fleece that is made from plastic bottles. So if you must use it, recycle it!

    Just Get on with Our Lives and Let Others Worry About It

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      Beach Pollution

      Photo from Wikipedia
      Photo from Wikipedia

      It's not Just Plastics

      But just about everything man manufactures.

      Green Peace notes: "Our oceans remain one of the final frontiers: unexplored, unknown, and in some places, unreachable. Every second breath we take comes from the oceans. We rely on them for food, for recreation, and the very life we all too often take for granted. In return, we are choking them with pollution and destroying the marine environments that enable us to live rich and enjoyable lives. One key way to reverse the destruction is a global network of marine reserves."

      Wikipedia notes: "Many potentially toxic chemicals adhere to tiny particles which are then taken up by plankton and benthos animals, most of which are either deposit or filter feeders. In this way, the toxins are concentrated upward within ocean food chains. Many particles combine chemically in a manner highly depletive of oxygen, causing estuaries to become anoxic.

      When pesticides are incorporated into the marine ecosystem, they quickly become absorbed into marine food webs. Once in the food webs, these pesticides can cause mutations, as well as diseases, which can be harmful to humans as well as the entire food web.

      Toxic metals can also be introduced into marine food webs. These can cause a change to tissue matter, biochemistry, behaviour, reproduction, and suppress growth in marine life. Also, many animal feeds have a high fish meal or fish hydrolysate content. In this way, marine toxins can be transferred to land animals, and appear later in meat and dairy products."

      If Marine Life Collapses

      What will you eat?

      Give me beef over fish any day

      Give me beef over fish any day

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        • anonymous 4 years ago

          .

        Love my fish and it will be badly missed

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          • Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

            The oceans are absolutely critical to all of life. We don't seem, as a society, to realize the true enormity of the crisis. Very scary.

          • anonymous 6 years ago

            Maybe we can eat our own plastics!

          • ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

            I love fish because they should be there. I don't eat them, as I'm veggie. If the fish were to leave the sea, we would be in a very sorry state.

          • MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

            It isn't just the eating of fish, its the oxygen from the oceans. Good grief!

          Most Polluted American Beaches

          Should Plastic Drink Bottles be Banned?

          or do we allow them to continue to destroy ocean life

          Ban Them Completely

          Ban Them Completely

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            • SteveKaye 5 years ago

              Most of the stuff sold in plastic drink bottles is also junk - chemicals, dyes, sugar, flavors, and preservatives.

            • Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

              I'm all for banning plastic bottles. We should all be using refillable drink containers. They are better for us anyway.

            • James Jordan 6 years ago from Burbank, CA

              I chose ban them completely but I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle. There are corn based plastics now that will degrade in compost. So, I think there are some great thing happening. I know that in Germany they are ahead of the curve and only other things are coming in the pipeline

            • ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

              Banning them completely might be a solution but, of course, transporting drinks in glass is more expensive on fuel etc. This overlaps with 'food mile' consciousness. We try to buy only glass-bottled liquid goods but try, also, to limit the mileage it has to travel. Could always do better!

            Just Ignore the Pollution, It Doesn't Bother Me.

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              • anonymous 4 years ago

                im a fish and i support this message

              Alternatives to Plastic

              There are hundreds of alternatives

              My life has been mostly free of plastics. As a child milk came in glass, we used glasses instead of plastic drinking containers, we had glass bowls, drinks came in glass or stoneware, eating utensils were also of metal, plates were china or glass, clothes came on hangers or were freely packaged in carboard boxes, shopping bags were cane baskets, goods were wrapped in paper, rubbish was wrapped in newspaper, furniture was made of timber, cars were all metal, wood and rubber, toys were made of wood, tin, steel or such like.

              We swam in unpolluted oceans, drank unpolluted water, breathed unpolluted air and generally had fewer diseases or conditions requiring little more than an occasional visit to the doctor. Today we see the hospitals full of cancer patients, there is a global epidemic of diabetes, chronic heart and lung diseases, liver and kidney failure, and so on. We see these things in ever younger people - so is our lifestyle healthy or is it killing us? Not only taking lives but living it in extremely painful and heart breaking ways.

              But the trouble with the world of that era was that things did not wear out. There was little reason to replace anything that had a life-time just about as big as your own. You could pass things on to the next generation. And nature flourished. People mainly grew their own food without pesticides and sprays. They ate from their gardens without fear of consuming GM crops, they raised their own chickens and harvested eggs from the back yard. They also made most of their own clothes.

              The quality of the goods manufactured prior to the 1970s is such that they are now very expensive to buy. Furniture and the like have become antiques and are valued for their manufactured beauty and the skill of the craftsman, But that did not suit consumerism. Well, that word had not even been coined I don't believe when I was a child.

              In those times craftsment took pride in the quality of their goods. Now it is common to make products with a terminal life of some 1 to 5 years so people will buy more. That means that you have to pay extra if you want a longer guarantee than 1 year. It's a con of major proportions and has led many back to older products that have been restored rather than risk new ones.

              Are we all that crazy that we allow money to rule over our lives. Industry bosses want to make more money and plastic is the answer. Cheap, handy, only some of it recycled, and with few worries about what happens to it afterwards.

              Plastic has made them rich, even richer and turned some into billionairs because they sell more. Plastic is cheap and it makes great replicas of genuine products. Those manufactured from plastic resemble things made from more substantial materials.That allows more to be made for a lot less and to be sold for the same price as goods made from other materials.

              Prices of such goods, which cost cents to make and yet sell for as high as $15 or more, stop me in my tracks. The consumer is being ripped off in more ways than one and CEO's are laughing all the way to the bank.

              Plastic is also light so it is popular with house wives who can use it for a while and then cast it out and buy more products to replace it. It is easier to handle, less bother to clean and disposing of it is simple. Just send it to landfill or, if you are on a boat, toss it into the ocean.

              Today kids have plastic toys, plastic swings, toy cars or dinkies. They ingest polluted air, food and drink and as adults they cannot escape their plastic handicapped lives. Today's leaders of industry and politics are fools and we are going down the slippery slope towards the end of life as we know it?

              The throw away society was born in the late fifties and plastic came into shops during the 60's and 70's but the effect of it was probably not felt much before the 80's. Those of us who grew up without it are probably the ones most opposed to its use and more horrified about what is happening to the world. Those of us old enough to remember the beautiful blue planet as God created it will soon be gone and those who grew up with plastic as the main source of everything will remain, along with their diseases, collapsing body parts, artificial food and dead oceans.

              This was written by a man in India and it should be something we take onboard. "Over the past few of years, many people asked me for help in getting plastic out of their lives. . . While it is . . . impossible to . . . remove all plastic from one's life, it is definitely worth reducing it to a minimum. . . , I came into a world that was nearly free of the scourge that has come to fruition since then. . . I am considerably more adamant about removing all plastics from his life and not so concerned about the type of plastic . . . It is through years of research that I have seen that all plastics must be stopped . . . As you approach this subject, please do so at a pace that doesn't overburden you into dropping the issue altogether. But do keep moving along as quickly as is practical." Pail Goettlich

              Do You Favor the Old Way of doing things

              over the new consumerism ideas?

              definitely, I love the thought of doing things for myself

              definitely, I love the thought of doing things for myself

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                • SteveKaye 5 years ago

                  We do almost everything for ourselves.

                • Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

                  Yes... I love my lifestyle. It is a return to a saner way of reusing, reducing, reclaiming, recycling. All those "re" things that speak of quality of life and quality of care for our environment.

                • ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

                  Yep! But I do love my regional wines - there's a loophole straight away

                no, I like buying everything ready made.

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                  Oprah on Earth Day

                  Don't be silenced on this issue
                  Don't be silenced on this issue

                  Bringing This Into The Open

                  Will Exposure of the problem help?

                  It seems many are incensed about what goes on in the world, but our voices are silenced by the money falling into cash registers. Whenever these problems arise they look at it for a whie and then forget and return to their old ways.

                  Below is a list of lenses that address environmental issues as I see them and perhaps if readers of this lens will take the message to others and refer others to read it as well we might make a difference. It would be great if the parliamentarians were sent copies of it and some of the other lens url's to bring them to their senses. After all they wil not escape what is coming.

                  There are a lot of industry leaders and politicians who would like to silence people like me forever. They want the freedom to make money at any cost because they see themselves as fulfilling some kind of success story for themselves. But if there is no one around to know them then what is the point. NO ONE AROUND will mean a very lonely existence for any survivors of this halocaust.

                  The Great Pacific Trash

                  The Pacific Garbage Patch

                  Still images from Dreamstime - click here

                  Please scirbe a comment about what you think of this exposure. Thank you

                  Please leave a rating - thank you

                  Cast your vote for Plastic on Beaches

                  Before You Go

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                    • Lady Lorelei profile image

                      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

                      Excellent article. I did one on this topic on another site and I was so horrified while researching it that I just broke down and cried. You did an amazing job on this.

                    • profile image

                      poutine 6 years ago

                      I remember those days where we brought back the glass bottles to the store and got a refund.

                      They were cleaned and re-utilized again and again.

                      My mom used her jam and mayo jars to preserve all the jams and relishes that she made.

                      Those were the good old days.

                    • ChrisDay LM profile image

                      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

                      You have done it again - a landmark lens on a really pressing topic. We are going to have to look at the stick and the carrot to sort this - education and legislation, in a 'joined-up' way.

                    • profile image

                      anonymous 6 years ago

                      We are a spoiled society that has no clue what is truly happening to our world. I frequently hike in remote areas and still people leave their garbage out there!!! Why are you out there in the first place? And then you leave your trash in some of the last majestic areas left on earth! Makes me sooooo mad!!!!

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                      anonymous 6 years ago

                      Oh one last thing.... Blessed by an Angel!!

                    • Hairdresser007 profile image

                      James Jordan 6 years ago from Burbank, CA

                      The plastic islands that are popping up are completely scary. Imagine this is only what floats to the surface. There is still so much that is floating in the mid column and also I am sure on the bottom.

                    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

                      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

                      Very informative and well presented. Plastics are indeed causing many more problems than people even begin to realize. Man has got to stop polluting his home.

                    • Diana Wenzel profile image

                      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

                      Very important to spotlight this issue. I was horrified the first time I saw all of the trash on the beaches of Padre Island National Seashore. The beach is called the "catching mitt" of the Gulf of Mexico. You would be sickened to see all of the trash that is brought in by the currents. Why aren't we doing more about the health of the oceans? Why are we complacent about the trashing of our world?

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                      anonymous 5 years ago

                      Hello Norma! This is a GREAT Lens - Best wishes :)

                    • profile image

                      SteveKaye 5 years ago

                      Great lens. It's important info on an essential topic.

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