A TikTok video has gone viral of a beach in Guatemala completely overwhelmed with plastic garbage from water bottles and old shoes.
The video posted by 4ocean has now been viewed nearly 19 million times and shows waves crashing onto the shore filled with garbage. There is so much garbage that the waves just look like moving plastic.
“What if we told you this was what Guatemala’s coastlines look like right now…” 4ocean captioned the video.
The footage was taken at the estuary of the Rio Motagua, which is a 300-mile-long river that flows from western Guatemala to the eastern coast and border of Honduras.
The apparel company said in an Instagram caption, “It’s the rainy season, which means the plastic pollution crisis is at its peak in Guatemala. Along the coastline, there is an endless stream of single-use plastic that has traveled down the Rio Motagua.”
The company has pledged to recover one pound of plastic from oceans, rivers, and other waters for every product sold.
“Our crews are going full-force on trying to get this mess cleaned up, but it’s going to take a much larger solution and systemic change. Stay tuned as we continue to scale our cleanup operation in Guatemala and work to stop the trash upstream.”
Newsweek reported that the Rio Motagua is contributing around 2 percent of the world’s total plastic emissions into oceans. 22,000 tons of plastic are estimated to flow through the Rio Motagua and into the ocean every year.
4ocean is working to clean up the beach and is documenting its journey to raise awareness of how bad our plastic pollution problem is. The Ocean Cleanup, a Netherlands-based startup, is also working to clean up the Rio Motagua. In a video posted to Twitter, the organization shows an ‘Interceptor Trashfence’ in Guatemala that they are testing to help keep trash out of the waterways.
BREAKING: we are now testing our Interceptor Trashfence in Guatemala's Rio Motagua Basin home to what we believe to be the world's most polluting river. pic.twitter.com/3mK9CiiwZH
— The Ocean Cleanup (@TheOceanCleanup) June 1, 2022
Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, 78 percent of which is NOT reclaimed or recycled. Around 8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year! 700 marine animals are faced with extinction due to the threat that plastic poses to them in the form of entanglement, pollution, and ingestion. 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and if things go on business as usual, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.
Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove, Budweiser, Carlsberg, and FIJI Water are working towards reducing plastic pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland, and many more are banning various single-use plastics, and others are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.
There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter, and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!
To learn more about the impact of plastic waste, please read the articles below:
- Marine Animals that are Dying because of our Plastic Habit
- Where Plastic Really Goes When You Throw it Out
- 5 Documentaries to make you Rethink Single-Use Plastics
- 6 Million Tons of Single-Use Plastics Get Thrown Out Every Year!
- 3 Useful Ways to Reuse Plastic Mesh Produce Bags
- Plastitar: The New Toxic Mixture of Tar and Microplastics Discovered by Researchers
- Ocean Plastic Could Be Used to Create New Antibiotics
- Petition: Tell Trader Joe’s to Ditch Plastic Packaging
- 10 Simple Actions That Just Might Save Our World’s Oceans From Plastic
- Jordan Eco-Artist Uses Art To Take Action Against Single-Use Plastic
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