The best way to fully grasp just how critical the issue of plastic pollution has become is to plainly see the effects on the environment – and, thanks to pictures taken by Caroline Power, a photographer based in Roatán, we can do exactly that. The photos were taken near the Caribbean island and they reveal a sight that would motivate anyone to take action to end it.
The shocking pictures were shared by Power on her Facebook page. In her post, the photographer implores readers to think about their daily lives and ask themselves, if they recently bought some food that was packed in styrofoam and served with a plastic fork, or if they still use plastic garbage bags, plastic wrap, plastic bottles. If the answer to any of these is yes, then you’re likely contributing to this massive issue.
To say that Power’s pictures are shocking is an understatement – they show massive patches of non-biodegradable plastic debris floating on the ocean and in some places, the plastic completely conceals the actual view of the water.
But for the photos to have actual power, we need to look at them not as detached observers but remember that we are a part of the problem.
“I challenge every person and every business to keep your trash for one week. Separate your organic and recyclables and keep everything else for one week. You will be disgusted how many single-use items you use,” Power writes.
According to the group Blue Planet Society, the trash recorded by Power could have floated in from the Motagua River in Guatemala. What is especially interesting – and disturbing – is that the pictures were taken in a part of the world that we still think of as fully “natural” and”pristine.”
Even though the plastic waste crisis is finally getting more and more publicity, it is still not easy for many of us to treat the problem with due seriousness – especially since its effects often do not reach us directly. The facts, however, do not change just because many of us do not witness them literally. Every year, we produce around 300 million tons of plastic and dump about 8.8 million tons of it into the oceans. We buy one million plastic bottles a minute but recycle only some nine percent of them. Relatively soon, pieces of plastic trash will outnumber the fish in our oceans. The time to rethink our plastic addiction is, without a shade of a doubt – now.
To learn how to minimize your plastic footprint, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
All image source: Caroline Power/Facebook