As the global proliferation of jellyfish continues, one of jellyfish’s few natural predators – the sea turtle – is under siege indirectly by mankind’s refuse.
Sea turtles mistake plastic bags for one of their staple foods, jellyfish. If sea turtle eat jellyfish, they survive and thrive.
If sea turtles eat plastic bags, they die. Simply put, if mankind can reduce the number of plastic bags from getting in the ocean, sea turtles will continue being magnificent creatures in our oceans.
Five years ago I started a plastic bag ban campaign in Portland, Oregon. In 2012, the plastic bag ban was expanded to 5,000 in the area.
I started caring about the plastics in the ocean problem from being a surfer in the Pacific Northwest. I saw plastic where it shouldn’t be and it changed my life. A year later I took my first trip with 5 Gyres to the North Atlantic garbage patch. I felt anger, shame, and helplessness. That day, in the middle of the ocean, I quit my job to work for 5 Gyres full time, even though the organization was young and no one was getting a salary.
I believed that the science learned from our expeditions would be a very powerful tool to enact common sense plastic policies around the world. 5 Gyres provides evidence gathered from the ocean and takes it to policy makers, industry and advocates. We train activists and empower them to act. We provide expert testimony on the interaction of plastic in the ocean with chemicals, marine life, and ultimately what the implications of this relationship is for human health. I’ve spent two years dismantling industry rhetoric to get at truth.
5 Gyres is helping pass common sense policy that is severely decreasing plastic bag pollution in our oceans and turning the tide of this marine eco-disaster that is plastic pollution. In Oregon alone, we’ll see a net decrease of 500 million single-use plastic bags. But 500 million is just a start.
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Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source