Tree-Hugging Dirt Worship

May 24, 2012

Great Pacific Garbage Patch, My Ass!

Filed under: gardening, Soapbox — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — paragardener @ 3:13 am

Lost and thrown away plastic is said to be accumulating in the middles of the big ocean gyres. Bottles, bags, nylon ropes and fishing nets, party cups and sundries are carried by winds, rivers, currents and boaters into the sea and swirl out towards the center. Some of the plastic gets tangled in nylon ropes or fishing nets to form little trash islands. Most of it is broken down by the sun, leaching toxic plastic additives and leaving lots of tiny fragments hanging around to choke marine animals.

Yes, this does seem to be a fact, but how about my backyard garbage patch? Back in a quiet corner, where I do my composting, plastic fragments seem to blow in from all over the neighborhood.

Plastic strewn over ground.

As a consequence of plastic coming to rest here, the soil is full of plastic bits and the compost I dug out to fill my vegetable box is full of plastic bits, too.

Similar plastic fragments

Plastic debris makes Bella sad.

Capris Sun packet buried under a weed.

When I moved into this house several years ago, I picked up a slew of trash from this area. Yet, I continue to unearth it. I wonder how long the neighborhood gyre has been dumping on that spot?

A root with numerous plastic hangers-on

Yes, I feel bad for the strangled sea birds, but also for my earthworms and viny creepers. Paper and cardboard debris would be destroyed here within a couple of years, and feed those roots and weird bugs.

I don’t see everyone around me about to become super-aware of this problem and avoid all plastic packaging and junk. And even if they all stop littering, little pieces of plastic tend to blow away (I’m even finding my own plastic label stakes from past years’ gardens). Could we please ban the use of plastic disposables? The problem with plastic is pretty clear, and it deserves some kind of response…

Did we really need to see the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to figure something’s gone awry?

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1 Comment »

  1. I agree with you and Bella. Garbage makes me sad. On my way to and from our SUV or when we have a visitor; I am always picking up trash in our front yard and along the side street. :*(

    Comment by Tamara Noel — May 24, 2012 @ 3:26 am


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