A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change.
New figures obtained by the Guardian reveal the surge in usage of plastic bottles, more than half a trillion of which will be sold annually by the end of the decade.
The demand, equivalent to about 20,000 bottles being bought every second, is driven by an apparently insatiable desire for bottled water and the spread of a western, urbanised “on the go” culture to China and the Asia Pacific region.
More than 480bn plastic drinking bottles were sold in 2016 across the world, up from about 300bn a decade ago. If placed end to end, they would extend more than halfway to the sun. By 2021 this will increase to 583.3bn, according to the most up-to-date estimates from Euromonitor International’s global packaging trends report.
Most plastic bottles used for soft drinks and water are made from polyethylene terephthalate (Pet), which is highly recyclable. But as their use soars across the globe, efforts to collect and recycle the bottles to keep them from polluting the oceans, are failing to keep up.
Saltwater Brewery created an answer to floating plastic six pack rings harming the ocean environment and its creatures. Their rings are edible and made from wheat and barley leftover from the beer making process. It’s a great way for the brewery to cut back on waste product and provides a snack for fish and other sea dwelling animals. If more companies recycled like this maybe we could cut down on the amount of garbage polluting our waters daily.
Zeus drinks himself half to death at the bar. He makes bedroom eyes at every pretty girl to walk in the room. They will clutch their cans of mace a little tighter as they walk home tonight.
Aphrodite helps a beaten girl to her feet, holding her tight as her young body is racked with sobs. Artemis stands nearby, preparing to hunt the thief of this young girl’s innocence. These are the only hunts she participates in anymore.
Athena glares at Ares as bloody knuckles and booted feet connect with battered bodies between them. The fight clubs are their temples now.
Dionysus stands behind a bar, serving drinks to rowdy men and pretty girls. Later, he will be found holding back the hair of girls, too young for the drinks they swallowed, as they vomit the concoctions they drank to forget the pain in the world. Dionysus understands and so he drinks more than anyone, if only to forget the suffering that has filled his immortal life.
Hestia mourns the numerous broken homes. She puts extra effort in protecting the scant few happy families left. So Hestia has created a home for those lost and abandoned, for she too knows how it feels to be cast out by the family who should have loved you unconditionally. She understands what it feels like to be adrift and homeless.
Apollo sits on a busy, crowded street, strumming his guitar and singing a song of loss and pain. He uses poetry and music to mourn the pain in the world. He berates himself constantly, because for every life he saves, ten more are extinguished. He has stopped visiting hospitals because he can’t help but feel his efforts are futile. He hasn’t seen his sister in years, and he misses her most at night, when he can see her beloved stars and moon.
Hermes slumps in a chair, exhausted from the horror gracing the human news. He decides he is no longer deserving of the title “messenger of the gods,” since he hasn’t delivered a message in centuries. Not when the gods no longer keep in touch. So he reverts to his favorite pastime: stealing. But what use is mortal money to a god?
Hera sits in the shadows of a bar and struggles to summon the dredges of the vindictive, jealous anger that used to come so easily to her when she saw her husband with another woman. Hera thinks that perhaps in this modern world, she would do better as the goddess of divorce. Because, really, how can she profess that marriage is the best gift the world has to offer when she can’t even keep her husband in her bed? When he doesn’t even bother pretending that he loves her? Yes, goddess of failed marriages has such a lovely, miserable ring to it.
Poseidon wanders the beach, picking up the scattered trash that poisons his domain. His tears mix with the salt water on his cheeks and he weeps for the suffering of his oceans. He feels the pollution like a phantom pain, and he scoffs at himself, full of loathing for the god of the sea who could not protect his oceans from mortals.
Hades lounges in his extravagant mansion, smiling at his lovely wife curled at his side. Blessed is he, for there will always be death, and mortals will always worship his riches. Of all his siblings, Hades, the scorned brother, cursed to rule the underworld, is the only one to still enjoy immortality.
Persephone is as beautiful as ever and she is happy with her loving husband who always joins her in her protests, right alongside her as she weeps for for the dying of this earth, as she cries herself to sleep at night when she thinks of all the loss of nature’s beauty and life. This world is suffering and she is the only one to hear its cries. They haunt her dreams.
Hecate flips the sign on the window to say closed. She longs for days gone by when people knew the truth. Magic is very real. Instead, she has to smile politely while customers come to her store to purchase items they know not how to use and religious men preach about how witchcraft is a sin, and she will burn in hell. Hecate does not care. She is as immortal as magic.
Cupid narrows his eyes with scorn every time he hears the word love fly from the lips of people who do not understand the meaning of the word. Though who is he to judge them when all his matchmaking attempts end in failure. Perhaps the mortals simple do not want him to decide who they love. Perhaps it is their turn to choose.
Athena prowls through college campuses, holding signs high in protect with the students around her. These fearless children are her people. She scoffs at the professors who are simply going through the motions, who fail to appreciate the brilliant minds all around them. She never fails to notice.
Ares picks his way across a battlefield and finds himself at the ruins of what used to be an elementary school. He no longer understands war, hasn’t for centuries. This was not brave, this was not heroic. This was senseless bloodshed. He sees nothing holy in this ruined world.
Aphrodite swallows the bile in her throat as she hears another rapist has been left free. She glares daggers at boys yelling obscene things at women. She’s long stopped romanticizing love. However, sometimes she sees a young girl handing over her baby to an older couple who tried for years, and she remembers what she once represented. Sometimes she sees Ares across the room of soldiers returning from the horrors of war, and as they embrace the loved ones they left behind, she smiles at him.
Artemis takes her role as protector of young women seriously. There’s a gun tucked into her waistband and a switchblade in her pocket. She can’t save them all, so she has also become an avenging goddess. She can be found in the streets or at battered women’s shelters, preparing for the next hunt.
The gods are dying. The gods wish they were dead. Is immortality a blessing or a curse?
The gods were always too human for their divinity (inspired by the writings of @crossroadsbela )
Ocean plastic pollution is a massive environmental problem. Millions of tons of plastic waste enter the ocean every year, even plastic that goes in the trash can often ends up in the sea! Joe Hansons teaches us about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and look at the dangers ocean plastic poses to ocean animals. Plus, a few tips for you to reduce your own plastic use!
“Why does it matter if we overfish tuna? It tastes so good!”
“If the oceans dried up tomorrow, why would I care? I live 500miles away from any body of water!”
The thing is, without the oceans, we would all be dead. Our planet would probably look like Mars. There would be no freshwater, no food for us to eat, no suitable climate for us to survive.
(Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Whether you live by the coast, or only see the ocean once a year on holiday, the ocean has an impact on your life. Every breath you take, every food or drinks you have… is thanks to our oceans. Every single individual and living being on this planet is deeply connected, and extremely dependent upon our seas.
The oceans regulates climate, weather, and temperature. They act as carbon dioxide ‘sinks’ from the atmosphere. They hold 97% of the Earth’s water. They govern our Earth’s chemistry; all the microbes and microscopic organisms at the very bottom of the food chain support our own existence. The oceans are also crucial for our economies, health and security.
(Photo credit: Brian Skerry)
The past generations have been raised with the idea that the ocean is huge (and it is) and resilient, and that we could basically take from or put into the oceans as much as we wanted. Now, we found out that we cant go on this way. This mentality is part of our problem and it needs to change.
While we have made tremendous discoveries about the oceans over the last few decades, we have also caused more destruction to the sea than ever before. Many fisheries stocks are overfished, catastrophic fishing techniques are destroying the habitats and depleting populations, many marine species are on the verge of extinction, coral reefs are dying, pollution run-offs from agricultural farms are creating dead-zones where nothing can grow or live, millions of gallons of oil have devastated the Gulf of Mexico, bigger and faster container ships create noise pollution for marine mammals and endangers them…The list goes on, and on. We have had so much impact that we have actually changed the pH of the oceans!
Pretty overwhelming, uh?
So yes, you should care, because if the oceans crash, we as a species are crashing with them. The entire planet Earth will be gone. And if that’s not enough of a wake-up call for you, I don’t know what else could be!
While all the current marine conservation issues appear huge and insurmountable, there is still hope. Each individual can make a difference now. YOU can make better choices about which fish to consume (or not at all!) and ask about the way they were caught or raised, YOU can encourage sustainable fishing practices, YOU can decide not to use fertilizer or pesticides in your backyard, YOU can bring your own reusable bag to the grocery store and stop using plastics, YOU can stop using products with microbeads, YOU can participate in beach clean-ups, YOU can start your own research and discover even more awesome things about the oceans… YOU can spread the word to your skeptic friends! Have people follow in your footsteps; inspire your friends and family. Be the change :) !
More than 37 million pieces of plastic debris have accumulated on a remote island in the South Pacific, thousands of miles from the nearest city, according to estimates from researchers who documented the accumulating trash.
Turtles get tangled in fishing line, and hermit crabs make their homes in plastic containers. The high-tide line is demarcated by litter. Small scraps of plastic are buried inches deep into the sandy beaches.
It’s the highest density of debris reported anywhere in the world, scientists say. Their research on trash accumulated at Henderson Island, largest of the the Pitcairn Islands, was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The island is uninhabited and visited by scientists only once or twice a decade, according to the University of Tasmania. But ocean currents bring a steady stream of plastic trash from around the world, from litter swept into storm drains to debris dropped off fishing boats.
Overturn Citizens United, ban campaign contributions and let one voice equal one vote
3. Stop spending 50% of all our tax money on war.
Stop killing civilians in the Middle East, and use the extra trillion dollars to reinvest in the Arab world, America’s urban and rural schools, and make college free.
4. LET REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS IN!
Refugees and immigrants are usually skilled, open businesses, create innovation and grow the economy. They are also HUMAN BEINGS fleeing war and death and need us to be there for them.
5. Stop putting (black and Latino) kids in prison for nonviolent drug offenses.
Start weakening gangs by legalizing drugs and offering addiction and job training programs.
*bonus: this also greatly reduces gun violence everywhere, especially in large cities*
Put murderers in jail, whether they have a badge or not. Demilitarize police forces, and train officers deescalation tactics. Make sure officers come from the communities they serve. Rebuild trust through human contact with police.
7. end the mass shooting™ Era.
Castrate the NRA. Create an Australia style gun buyback program. Stop letting 14 year olds buy AKs at guns shows. Mandate “safe gun” tech.
*hidden bonus: kindergarteners, churchgoers and the general public will no longer be murdered en masse on a monthly basis. How wacky is that?!?*
8. stop allowing people to go bankrupt because they got sick or hurt
Create a single payer health care system like those in Norway, New Zealand, Japan, the U.K.,
Kuwait, Sweden, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, the Netherlands, Austria, The UAE, Finland, Slovenia, Denamark, Luxembourg, France, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
yea like wtf? It’s 2017.
10. LET WOMEN HAVE CONTROL OVER THEIR OWN BODIES.
11. Don’t let oil and gas companies destroy the Earth for profit.
Implement a carbon tax, and use the money to invest in renewables, and climate change research.
12. Create 25 million jobs, and revive the American Dream.
Spur a National WWII style mobilization to build renewable energy, manufacture electric cars, invest in organic vertical farming, and clean up our polluted oceans, Lakes and rivers.
*secret bonus: this also keeps our kids from having to live in a dystopian hellscape lol*
13. PAY REPARATIONS to African and Native Americans, just like you did to settlers and slaveowners before/after the Civil War.
14. Close Guantanamo bay, and amend the constitution to ban torture
15. Get Involved(cliche but immensely important) protest, call your representatives, and get involved with organizations like moveleft, Indivisible, and Justice Democrats that push for real and radical improvements to our country.
16. Don’t let cynicism and pessimism cloud your judgement.
If you’re reading this right now and thinking; “okay but nahhhhhhh, none of this can happen in America”, your brain is tricking you. Human evolutionary psychology makes it hard for people to envision a future that is radically different from the past or present, but change can happen fast and is often more radical than you expect. Don’t sit on the sidelines and let the future be decided by the likes of Trump, Bannon, and oil companies. speak up. ACT.