This trailer is difficult for me to watch. I don’t like to think that the toothpaste cap I threw away five years ago is now choking a poor South Pacific sea bird. But millions of tons of the plastic I, and everyone else on the planet, throw away end up in the ocean every year.

The problem is that the very things that make plastic appealing to us, also make it a fiendishly good marine-life killer: its low cost ensures that it’s plentiful, and its relative durability means it sticks around. Plastic never biodegrades but instead breaks into smaller and smaller pieces when exposed to sunlight, thereby effecting animals further and further down the food chain. Even tiny zooplankton die by ingesting plastics.

It’s crazy when you think about it. We take three-hundred-million-old oil out of the ground, make it into plastic, use it for a few minutes, or a week, or a year, and then put it out into the environment for 500–1,000 years.

The film, Midway, by Chris Jordan, shows the effects of plastic trash on sea birds at Midway Island. It comes out this year.

If you like to learn more about plastic pollution and what you can do, here are some links. Read the rest of this entry »