Who is Responsible for the Plastic in our Oceans?
Last week our team split up to attend three different shows around the world. I spent my time showing off the Deep Trekker at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Set up outside on the docks I had the opportunity to chat with a number of fantastic people while showing them how our mini-ROV maneuvers in the ocean. Every day I heard multiple comments about how well our ROV captured the views under the water. Checking out the barnacles stuck to the docks and the sheep head fish swimming around offered the perfect opportunity for viewers to see through the eyes of the Deep Trekker.
While the experience was great and I was thankful to have the opportunity to show off our product I did find the amount of plastic and garbage I saw in the ocean disturbing. The little bits of plastic garbage floating in the current is not the fault of any one person or party. After travelling the world and meeting hundreds of people it seems to me that no one intentionally wishes to fill our oceans with trash. It is easy to point fingers and blame the amount of plastic on coastal communities but the reality is that it is up to all of us to do our part. We all need to ensure that we are recycling and taking the proper measures to keep our waters clean.
In a recent article released by Discovery News, author P. Kiger explains that while researchers have found that coastal communities do contribute to a large amount of the plastic ending up in the oceans, “there’s also evidence that the nation’s inland waterways serve as a conduit for plastic to travel thousands of miles into the oceans”.
The article continues on to explain how when cleanup campaigns have taken place along inland waterways far away from the ocean, large amounts of the trash have been found in rivers and lakes. While extensive research and attention has been given to the path of plastics travelling within the oceans, little attention has been paid to the avenues in which they end up there in the first place.
As avid ocean explorers, we at Deep Trekker want our waters to stay clean so that generations to come have the opportunity to explore the beauties of the marine world. Despite the fact that there is little research done on the path of plastic to the seas, we believe that everyone should be doing their part, whether you live inland or beside a body of water, to reduce your plastic consumption while ensuring that the waste that is produced is disposed of properly and recycled.
Read more about some of the astonishing facts surrounding plastic in our lakes and rivers here.
Kriger sums up this topic well by stating that “if there’s any positive takeaway in this, it’s that you can do something, at least on a personal level, to reduce the amount of plastic that goes into the oceans”.