David de Rothschild on The True Cost of Plastic

He reminds us of the problem and then asks us to do something about it.

By Rachel Cernansky
Boulder, CO, USA | Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:56 PM ET

AP Photo/Jean-Pierre Belzit

david de rothschild plastic photo

READ MORE ABOUT:
Plastic | Pollution | Waste Disposal | Water

In case you’ve missed the ongoing coverage here of David de Rothschild and his Plastiki recycled plastic boat expedition, it’s a mission worth learning about. Plastic has not spared an inch of the planet from its toxic effects, including the depths of the most remote waters in the world’s deep blue oceans.

In “The True Cost of Plastic,” De Rothschild writes on the Huffington Post a reminder of the extent of the problem. He points out that, “except for a very small percentage that has been incinerated, every single molecule of plastic ever manufactured still exists somewhere in our environment.”

Yikes. He continues, explaining how once they’ve been dumped into the ocean, chemicals like pesticides and tiny bits of plastic work their way up the food chain:

The transference occurs as small amounts of these chemicals work their way up the food chain from the filter feeders all the way through to the fish fingers on the kitchen table. All over the world, children and adults alike are unwittingly exposing themselves to low levels of toxicity. Plastic is an odorless and tasteless parasite.

He also points out the irony: “the very durability that makes plastic so useful to humans also makes it incredibly harmful to all the natural life cycles in every ecosystem worldwide.”

But! He ends on a positive note: a challenge to stop this problem before it gets worse. It doesn’t have to be this way, he says, and he’s right. The day we change our attitude toward plastic and other waste is the day we change—improve—our treatment of the planet.

Related Posts:
The TH Interview: David de Rothschild – Part 1
David De Rothschild and Crew Unveil the Finished Plastiki

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