Filter Your Way To A Greener Earth

“What do you want for dinner honey, how about plastic?” This may seem like a ridiculous statement, but it’s one that needs to be taken seriously. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a large island in the Pacific Ocean that is full of tires, plastic, nets, and lots and lots of trash. To be clear, the largest landfill isn’t on land, it’s in the ocean. An estimated 80% of the garbage in the ocean comes from land sources and plastic composes 90% of the trash floating in the oceans around the world. The size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not verified, but some say that it is twice the size of the state of Texas while others say the garbage island is 3.8 million square miles. The trash leaves human hands, goes into the ocean, and kills sea animals. Sea turtles become entangled by fishing nets, eating plastic bags mistaking them as jelly fish, and dying because of it. Birds are also scooping up the trash and feeding it to their young mistaking it for food and dying from starvation or ruptured organs. How does this process come to a full circle? The trash leaves humans hands, goes into the ocean, animals then eat the trash, bigger animals eat the smaller animals that have ingested the trash, the animals are then caught by fisherman, and then the fish, which have ingested trash and plastic, ends up on your dinner plate. Sounds delicious right? No, I didn’t think so.

Mostly everyone can agree with the statement that we live in the “Age of Plastic”. However, it has been a growing issue within the world that plastic is harmful to the environment. But has anyone stopped to think of what it is doing to the human body? Werner Boote has and that is why he created the documentary called Plastic Planet. Boote traveled all over the world to understand how plastic is made and used throughout the countries. During the video he speaks to the world’s foremost experts in biology, pharmacology, and genetics to receive some answers about the effects of plastics. A shocking revolution of this video is that plastic is actually in our blood. He created this video to educate those about the risks of plastic and how long the material really lasts on earth. This video is encouraging those to limit the use of plastic and to educate the next generations of children so that they understand what kind of a plant they are being introduced to. Last year, the Green Team on UNCW’s campus collaborated with another sustainability group to play this movie for the students to see. People should be educated on the effects of plastic and understand how harmful it really is.

Many companies are now producing products to help save the environment and cut down on the amount of plastic bottles the world uses every year. Brita water filters has made technology so that customers can make tap water from their home safe from harmful bacteria and pure while using their own glasses. Brita has a new campaign, Brita For Good, which asks customers to use their bottle and pitcher filters to save about 300 plastic bottles from being used and thrown away. The average filter needs to be thrown away every two months, so you don’t have to constantly be worrying about changing the filter. Camelbak is another company striving to save the environment from being consumed by waste. They have recently designed a product to solve water purification problems with a system that uses UV light. The bottle takes 60 seconds to purify the water inside, which is not too long to wait for pure and fresh water.

-Kelsey Bendig, Brooke Keller, Andrea Blanton, Brian Burch