Plastic is everywhere, as it is so convenient, it’s versatile, and it is very easy to dispose of. Taking all of these good attributes into consideration, it goes without saying that plastic is incredibly dangerous and it is killing our environment. Most people pay very little attention to the plastic they encounter on a daily basis.
Most people would not even have a second thought once that bottle, bag, or straw is in the trash it just disappears! Ultimately, those items that were supposedly going to be recycled end up back in a landfill. Landfill is code for the inevitable trash water run off, back into our oceans. It is a vicious cycle that the majority of the masses pays no mind to. Each year nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste are dumped into the world’s oceans, and plastic, being the ever-durable material, can take hundreds of years to break down. Plastic breaks up in to smaller and smaller pieces but never really go away. It is ingested by the marine animals that carnivores later eat.
Approximately 300 million tons of plastic is produced every single year. So you see the conundrum; the problem of plastic pollution isn’t going away any time soon. That is, unless we all make a very distinct change in our habits.To raise awareness and promote a positive change, the organization Recycled Mississippi is taking to the mighty Mississippi River. The team is equipped with a boat made completely out of trash, to document the enormous amount of plastic pollution in our waterways.
This spectacular group of six friends also has plans to produce a crowdfunded 40-minute documentary that will explain why the Mississippi River is one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The group will also aim to tell the story of how local communities have been negatively impacted by the excessive pollution. They will also list the efforts of the community to clean up and restore the Mississippi.
The group is led by Dan Cullum who has spent the last few years undertaking similar “recycled expeditions,” across many bodies of water via kayak of “garbage” boat. The ship the team is traveling on down the Mississippi is composed of all recycled materials – plastic and reclaimed wood. Scientists have already predicted that the world’s oceans will less fish than plastic in the year 2050 if we do not change our voracious appetite for plastic.
The answer to our plastic problem is not that complicated. It starts with daily decisions, and the simple discipline to repeat these actions every day. If we all make an effort to identify where we can use plastic alternatives, we can dramatically cut back on the amount of plastic pollution that inevitably finds its way into our landfills and oceans.
To keep up with the progress of Recycled Mississippi’s travels, follow their Facebook page, here.